Isabelle Bossi was the Cheffe de mission of the Swiss Olympic during the the previous Youth Olympic Games (YOG). Today, she will share her impressions with us, before bowing out and heading towards other horizons.
What does the work of a Cheffe de mission consist of?
Isabelle Bossi: As the Cheffe de mission, I am responsible for the youth mission in it’s entirety. This goes from the preparation phase and upstream organisation, to the conduct of the on-site delegation through the logistics. Before the Games, the central themes are the reconnaissance, the process of selection, the outfitting of the delegation and the planning of the voyage. During the Games, I am principally occupied with guiding and supervising the delegation as well as assuming representational functions.
From Singapore 2010 to Lillehammer 2016, how have you perceived the evolution of the YOG?
Isabelle Bossi: The previous editions of the YOG were very heterogeneous in terms of direction and dimension. The Summer YOG (Singapore, Nanjing), with their dimensions worthy of the Olympic Games, proved an irreproachable organisation but their dimensions (budget, investments and impact) were oversized, for the youth. At the same time, the winter YOG seduced with their high athletic level and an authentic human sized organisation, more adapted and specific to young athletes than the Summer YOG.
Due to the new directions of the « Agenda 2020 » of the IOC, the YOG of Lausanne will unfold in a new light and it will be interesting to see this new form of organisation established in the future.
Which was the most memorable moment for you during the previous YOG?
Isabelle Bossi: I have lived through so many touching and unforgettable moments, that it is impossible to cite one in particular. It was always great for me to share the emotions of the young athletes. As the head of delegations, I was obviously always happy to see everyone return home in good health and with many memories in their hearts and in their heads.
What is your greatest wish for Lausanne 2020?
Isabelle Bossi: I would wish that the Lausanne YOG contribute in bringing the Olympic spirit to Switzerland in the most positive and inspiring form. That the organisation committee of Lausanne 2020 succeed in meeting the great organisational challenge and we assume our role as sympathetic hosts.
I hope that the Swiss delegation continues to thrill us with sport successes as it has done so far while proudly representing the next generation of sportsmen in their own country.
Buenos Aires will be the first YOG in history that you will not be a part of. Heartache?
Isabelle Bossi: It has been a great honour and privilège for me to represent Switzerland as Cheffe de mission during the YOG until now and accompany all the young athletes on the way to the elite. There will certainly be some nostalgia, but one of the sayings of the IOC is « to give the power to the youth! » and this seems like the right moment to pass the baton to young leaders in the making.