Host City: Torino, Italy
Venue(s): Ski Jumping Stadium, Pragelato Plan
Date Started: February 19, 2006
Date Finished: February 19, 2006
Norway had dominated men’s relay competition since the 1992 Winter Olympics, winning all Olympic gold medals except for the classic battle against Italy in 1994, and losing only once at the World Championships since 1991, that in 1999 Austria. Italy had finished second to Norway at the 1998 and 2002 Winter Olympics, losing by no more than 3/10ths of a second in both races. It desperately wanted to win the gold on its home snow.
Canada’s Devon Kershaw surprisingly led the first leg, with Norway second, and Italy back in fifth. But Canada dropped to 14th on the second leg when Sean Crooks posted the slowest leg of the entire race. At the second exchange, the Czechs led, followed by Russia, then Norway, with Italy still fifth. But Pietro Piller Cottrer then skied the fastest leg of the event for Italy, giving Norway a six-second lead over Sweden at the final hand-off. Italy would win the race they most wanted, by almost 16 seconds over Germany, with Sweden taking the bronze. Norway had a lackluster race, and finished only fifth.