The entire world comes together for the Olympics, making the Games seem a perfect platform for plugging a product or, better yet, boosting a cause. With 2,600 competitors from 82 countries gathering for the Winter Games in Torino, Italy, everyone from peaceniks to members of crochet collectives is trying to share some of the spotlight.
> RAINBOW GAMES Italy's gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered community hopes a second Olympics--the Torino Pride Games 2006--in March will soften people's attitudes in the socially conservative nation.
> SPORTSMANLIKE CONDUCT Kofi Annan has joined the International Olympic Committee in calling for an Olympic Truce, a two-week, worldwide cease-fire to honor the cooperative spirit of the Games.
> BUT GUAM'S GOT A TEAM! If the nation's capital is not a U.S. state, why can't it be a separate sporting territory? A team of novice curlers formed the District of Columbia Olympic Committee to make the point. Right now, they have to practice in Virginia.
> PUTTING HER HEART INTO IT In a sign that the cold war has fully thawed, Russian ice skater Irina Slutskaya--who survived an enlarged heart--will compete while pitching for the American Heart Association's awareness campaign, Go Red for Women.
> NO IDLE HANDS For the 16-day Knitting Olympics, some 4,000 crafty couch potatoes have set a series of stitching goals they want to reach while watching the Games. Charitable projects include making clothes for U.S. pregnancy centers and for tots in Mongolia.