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Last Updated: Sunday, 19 February 2006, 17:49 GMT
Ask Anna - Part Three
BBC Sport journalist Anna Thompson
Hi, I'm Anna Thompson and I will be reporting from the Winter Olympics for the BBC Sport website.

I'll be following the big stories at the Games and especially the British hopefuls in their various events.

But I also want to be your 'eyes and ears' in Italy.

And I will do my best to find answers to any questions you have, or even go and report on something particular if many of you want me to.

So if there is a particular athlete you would like to know more about, an event, news story or issue you think I should follow up, or you have a question about the host venues, then do let me know.

Thanks - and enjoy the Games,


Q. I read that the organising committee had to make sure every competitor had 'a bed'. This seems a little odd as these are the top athletes in the world.

Surely they merit a whole room each, with ensuite bathroom, not just 'a bed'? Please, tell us how the athletes are accommodated, in the Turin athletes' village.
Helen Milligan, London

A. I can't answer for all the nations but I know Team GB members are sharing rooms at the Games. There are three athletes' villages; in Turin, Bardonecchia and Sestriere - and all seem like typical student accommodation.

I know, for example, British skier Chemmy Alcott is sharing with skeleton slider Shelley Rudman while Noel Baxter and Finlay Mickel have a room between them.

The athletes' villages have hairdressers, florists, shops and even discos. They must be comfortable enough because none of the British team I have spoken to have had any complaints.

Q. The BBC featured a wonderful piece of music for a montage at the end of the coverage closing ceremony and I have since heard it closing other shows. Sounds like something from opera. What is it ?
Chloe, London

A. Jonny Bramley, the BBC's executive editor of the Winter Olympics tells me it's called 'Because We Believe' by Andrea Bocelli.

The BBC will be using it every day for the closing to the programmes and Bocelli himself will be singing live at the closing ceremony.

Q. Who drove the Ferrari in the opening ceremony?
Ed Shendell, Port Washington, NY

A. Andrew Benson, the motorsport editor at the BBC Sport website, tells me it was Ferrari test driver Luca Badoer.

Q. I got hooked on ski-jumping, watching the Olympics. Where can I try this one out in the UK?
Andreas, Berkshire

A. Sadly Andreas, Britain does not possess any ski jump facilities which explains why we do not produce many ski jumpers.

The sport is very popular in Europe where they have a number of ski jump clubs.

The International Ski Federation governs the sport so you could contact them to find out how best to start your ski jump career. Their number is 0041 33 244 6161.

Incidentally I bumped into US ski jumper Jim Denney in a restaurant in Sestriere and he was telling me he started ski jumping at the age of three and was 16 when he launched himself off the large hill.

Q. Why was there only a two-year gap between the two Winter Olympics in 1992 and 1994, and since it has returned to its four-yearly cycle?
Helen, London

A. Originally, the Winter Olympics were held in the same year as the summer Games but a decision was made by the International Olympic Committee in 1986 to split them up so there was alternate Olympic Games every two years.

This is why the last summer and winter Games were held in Albertville and Barcelona in 1992 and then the Winter Olympics in Lillehammer in Norway in 1994, then 1998, 2002 and 2006.

Q. There was a horrific-looking accident in the men's double luge on Wednesday (the Latvian team I think).

We haven't heard on the BBC coverage, Ceefax or websites whether the two athletes were all right or not. Can you please give an update?
Nigel Rowe, Plymouth UK

A. I had lots of emails about this and I can tell you it was the Ukrainian pair of Oleg Zherebetskyy and Roman Yazvinskyy who were involved in the horrific-looking crash.

Yazvinskyy suffered a head injury but remained conscious and was flown to hospital in Pinerolo, near Turin. Luckily he was not seriously injured and after undergoing a number of tests he was released from hospital a day later.

Q. I want to know what happened to the Canadian snowboarder who crashed out of the final of the snowboard cross, and was last seen being treated by paramedics.
Sarah, London

A. Maelle Ricker was the snowboarder in question and she fell and bumped her head. I was watching as the paramedics brought her down in, what is called in the trade, a blood wagon - essentially a stretcher on skis. She was taken to hospital and released a little while later suffering from mild concussion.

Q. What is the purpose of all the blue spray lines that seem to segment every snow course - skiing, snowboarding, etc?
Alan Turner, Lytham St Annes

A. The blue lines are sprayed into the snow for safety reasons. They highlight the changes in terrain and give skiers and boarders better visibility.

Without the lines it is sometimes very difficult to pick out the rolls of the course because of what is called flat light. And with the speeds they travel, 80-plus mph, there would be absolute carnage.


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