Arches, to announce the grandeur of a winning idea, twinkling lights, to illuminate the entrance to the heart of the enchanted forest. And finally, the tricolore, fluttering gracefully over the resort of Yongpyong. As of today, it sheds its golf club attire and readies itself for a special occasion. At the 23rd edition of the Winter Olympics, Yongpyong hosts Casa Italia, which gleamed in the eyes of the many visitors here to celebrate its unveiling. A round of applause softens the blow of the oppressing cold covering PyeongChang on the eve of the Games. It's a warm welcome, simple in its modernity, innovative and brilliant by design, and original in concept. Evoking a strong sense of immersion in the surrounding nature thanks to its glass walls, this modern refuge has already won the first medal of the expedition. With CONI President Giovanni Malagò doing the honours, alongside Vice Secretary General and Head of Mission Carlo Mornati in the company of Managing Director of CONI Servizi, Alberto Miglietta, the opening saw massive participation by IOC representatives. 61 members – including Italians Franco Carraro, Ivo Ferriani and honorary members Ottavio Cinquanta and Manuela Di Centa, as well as Francesco Ricci Bitti, President of ASOIF – the wife of President Bach, Claudia, 3 of the 4 Vice Presidents and 5 royals: Albert II, Prince of Monaco; Princess Nora of Liechtenstein; Prince Tunku Imran of Malaysia; Prince Feisal bin Al Hussein of Jordan, and Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg.
Casa Italia is the result of a project that aimed to promote Italian excellence in sport, art, design and hospitality, with a new vision: PROSPECTUM. The goal was to present our country through an internationally-recognised cultural invention: the representation of perspective. An idea that revolutionised the way of seeing reality, and which in Casa Italia 2018 has been updated and modernised by a contemporary style. Two levels and screens covering the wooden walls with images of the Italia Team, which intensify the “Fire on Ice” claim, also evoked by the furnishing and symbolic cauldron at the entrance, giving a sense of infinity that reveals the desire to make a mark.
President Malagò’s pride is affixed to a board, written in his own hand: “one house, one team, one Olympic Committee, one Nation, all on the same side... Sport. The Tricolore”. With satisfaction, he reiterates his thoughts before the reporters: “The enormous participation of IOC members is a sign that in terms of style, there is much to be learned from Italy.”