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Shroud in Turin, but Games in Torino

Much of media referring to city by its Italian name

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A lot of media outlets, including the Deseret Morning News, will be covering the 2006 Olympic Winter Games by speaking just a little bit of Italian — calling the host city "Torino" instead of the Anglicized "Turin."

It is, after all, Torino that's emblazoned on the logo of these Games that begin Friday.

And the Morning News is following the lead of NBC, which will telecast the Games to Americans via its broadcast network (KSL-TV, Ch. 5, locally) and three of its cable networks (CNBC, MSNBC and USA).

TV's use of "Torino" was an easy decision for the chairman of NBC Universal Sports and Olympics.

"When I went there for the first time two weeks after they got the Games in the summer of '99, I was just swept away with how that sounded — Torino," said Dick Ebersol. "It just rolls off your mouth. It talks about a wonderful part of the world. It has a romanticism to it. And I just thought that that was a wonderful way to name these Games.

"I came back, and one or two of the longtime Olympic experts that work for us looked at me with their eyes crossed. But other people responded rather well, and so I decided to go ahead and call them the 'Torino Games.'

"And, by the way, the people in Torino call it 'Torino.' "

There's even a Utah connection to the decision to go with the non-Anglicized version of the city's name.

"I was in Dick's office in Salt Lake City in the broadcast center four years ago when the former mayor of Torino, a man named Valentino Castellani, who is now the president of the Torino Organizing Committee, came by for a visit with Dick," said David Neal, executive vice president of NBC Olympics and executive producer of NBC Sports. "Dick told him that day that we had chosen to go with 'Torino' rather than the Anglicized 'Turin.'

"And, literally, there were tears of joy coming down the face of the former mayor. So the fact that American television was going to go with the local pronunciation, it had that sort of an impact."

NBC's lead anchor for the Olympics, Bob Costas, agrees with the Torino decision, but he did obliquely acknowledge that there might be at least a bit of confusion.

"I am very much looking forward to our feature on the Shroud of Torino," he deadpanned. "I think we'll all enjoy that."


E-mail: pierce@desnews.com