Lausanne 2020 works hand-in-hand with UNIL and EPFL in order to prepare the educational programme for the athletes in 2020. This collaboration led to another one, between the Swiss Schools of Higher Learning and the organising committee of the 2018 Buenos Aires Youth Olympic Games. Olivier Mutter tells us more about these synergies and about what will be available to the young athletes.
You are project manager at the University of Lausanne seconded to prepare the Lausanne 2020 educational programme. What does this mandate involve?
Olivier Mutter: The UNIL Campus will be at the heart of the Lausanne 2020 YOG with the presence of some 1,800 athletes who will be staying in the Vortex, the residential building of the Olympic Village, that will later house students. The Board of the UNIL had two choices: put up with the event or seize the opportunity that it represents. The Board chose the second option. My role is to coordinate the designing and implementation of the Lausanne 2020 YOG educational activities for the athletes, but also to connect the Schools of Higher Learning, in particular the UNIL and the EPFL, with the Lausanne 2020 Organising Committee.
The preparation of this Lausanne 2020 educational package led the way to Buenos Aires 2018 for you, since the IOC mandated the UNIL and the EPFL to put it into practice at the Buenos Aires YOG. Concretely, what was offered to the athletes?
OM: That’s right! The elements we constructed with the YOGOC starting in 2016 to prepare the Lausanne 2020 YOG were very well received by the IOC who wanted to implement them beginning with the Buenos Aires 2018 YOG. In very concrete terms, more than 30 experts and students from the UNIL and the HedSFr, in collaboration with the INSEP (France), gave the athletes tests to analyse their muscular and skeletal strengths and weaknesses as well as their posture, in order to give them training recommendations and to prevent potential injuries.
Were the educational activities successful in BA2018?
OM: The success was huge. The activity proposed sparked the interest and enthusiasm of the athletes and their coaches, because it’s directly related to their sport training. The official IOC Internet site even considered it to be the main attraction of the Youth Olympic Village!
What lessons did you learn from BA2018 and what innovations will L2020 hold?
OM: The experience was very enriching in terms of teamwork, logistics management and contact with the athletes in view of optimising the programme that will be offered to them in 2020. As much as possible, we wish to reinforce the attractiveness of the programme by integrating more technology in order to allow the athletes to have a fun experience while doing tests and recommended exercises.