Slovaks return Olympics to Torino

A DOUBLE EXHIBITION of colour photos by Jana Šebestová and Radovan Stoklasa returned the atmosphere of Winter Olympic Games to its main venue, Torino, during the second half of February. The exhibition, Two Views on Olympic Torino, took place in the exhibition premises of the Piedmont Region in the centre of the city, and was met with a warm welcome.

A view of the Olympics in Torino through the lens of Jana Šebestová...

A DOUBLE EXHIBITION of colour photos by Jana Šebestová and Radovan Stoklasa returned the atmosphere of Winter Olympic Games to its main venue, Torino, during the second half of February. The exhibition, Two Views on Olympic Torino, took place in the exhibition premises of the Piedmont Region in the centre of the city, and was met with a warm welcome.

The display marking the first anniversary of the Olympic Games in Torino offered two views on the stage of the greatest sporting event of last year. The first one was moments from sport venues snapped by photojournalist Radovan Stoklasa. The second was the unforgettable atmosphere in the city outside the official sports grounds caught by Jana Šebestová.

"I was quite difficult to select a motif to focus on because the Olympic Games were a very strong emotional experience for me," Jana Šebestová, a young photographer living in Torino since 1998, told The Slovak Spectator. By her camera she attempted to catch the atmosphere in the city and emotions of people enjoying the event in the streets.

Radovan Stoklasa, who has worked with the TASR news wire from 2001, focused his camera on sportsmen and sportswomen, in particular on those from Slovakia. "I tried to depict in my photos the happiness of those who won as well as the disappointment of those who didn't," Radovan Stoklasa told The Slovak Spectator.

This was Stoklasa's second Olympic Games. His first Olympic assignment took place in Athens in 2004, the venue of the Summer Olympic Games.

The ambition of the two photographers is to bring the exhibition to Slovakia.

... and Radovan Stoklasa.

The exhibition was one of the first events organized by the My @ Vy (We @ You) association Friends of Slovakia, established in Torino on September 1, 2006 with the aim of developing relations between Italy and Slovakia. It wants to enable Italians to get more information about Slovakia and on the other hand, give successful Slovaks living in Italy opportunities to present themselves. It also helps them establish contacts with other Slovaks living in Italy and to give them a helping hand and support.

"Its ambition is to be a modern organization looking forward and not to be a club organizing nostalgic folk events," said Šebestová, one of the 13 founding members. The association wants to organize exhibitions, exchange sports events, concerts of Slovak music, conferences, and many others in cooperation with the Slovak Embassy in Rome and the Bureau of Slovaks Living Abroad in Bratislava.

The association now has about 50 members, many of whom belong to the intellectual elite of Torino. It is headed by Mária Straková, who has lived in Torino for more than 30 years.

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