Freestyle skiing star Virginie Faivre appointed President of the Lausanne 2020 Organising Committee

Lausanne, 4 January, 2019 - The Executive Committee of Lausanne 2020, the 3rd Winter Youth Olympic Games, announces that Virginie Faivre, the multiple freestyle skiing world champion, has been appointed President of the Organising Committee. She will take up her duties on 7 January 2019 and will be available to meet the members of the media on 9 January at the Lausanne 2020 “1 year to go” press conference to be held in Lausanne.

Born in Lausanne, Virginie Faivre has a long career as an elite freestyle skier behind her. Three times FIS (International Ski Federation) world champion in half-pipe (2009, 2013 and 2015) and three times crystal globe winner in the discipline (2008, 2009, 2013), she brings to the Organising Committee her experience of major international winter sports competitions.  

"It is a great honour, of course, but above all a great joy for me to participate in the organisation of this great event, which is very dear to me," says Virginie Faivre. "I was part of it from the beginning in 2013. Our victory at the IOC Session in Kuala Lumpur in 2015 was one of the highlights of my career. I feel a similar emotion today."

The new President will take over the reins of the Organising Committee on 7 January 2019 and will succeed to Patrick Baumann, who died suddenly last October in Buenos Aires (ARG) while attending the 3rd Summer Youth Olympic Games.

"Together with Patrick, I helped lay the foundations of the project during the bid phase.  Over the past four years, alongside the Organizing Committee led by Ian Logan, he has done extraordinary work. I look forward to working in this continuity with the team, bringing my own sensitivity, athletic experience and knowledge of winter sports,“ says Virginie Faivre. “In my role at the Swiss Sport Foundation (note: Swiss “Sporthilfe”), I follow closely the challenges of youth sport development in the country. Much remains to be done, and Lausanne 2020 can be a real catalyst in this field,” she adds. “Beyond competition, the aim of the Youth Olympic Games is also to pass on skills to the new generation. These Games must create vocations and a spirit of entrepreneurship amongst the youth. All this motivates me particularly."

Philippe Leuba, State Councilor for Economy, Innovation and Sport and Vice-President of the Executive Committee of Lausanne 2020, said: "Virginie Faivre was quite an obvious choice for us. First, she’s been part of the project from its beginning. But she also embodies a certain spirit of the “new” winter sports that is very compatible with the concept of Youth Olympic Games. Lausanne 2020 is a unique opportunity to showcase the strengths and skills of our canton in terms of sport, education and innovation. Virginie Faivre is a perfect symbol of this."

Grégoire Junod, Mayor of Lausanne and Vice-President of the Executive Committee of Lausanne 2020, added: "It is obviously a great pleasure for us to see a young athlete, who is also a native of Lausanne become President of this wonderful project. The Youth Olympic Games aim to spread the healthy and positive values of sport to young people both here and abroad. Virginie Faivre will perfectly promote these unique assets from the heart of the Olympic Capital across the country and around the world over the next twelve months. We look forward to continuing our work alongside her and under her new leadership. »

Ian Logan, CEO of the Organising Committee said: "This appointment is great news. Virginie Faire is part of the Lausanne 2020 DNA. She will further intensify the relations we have with sport and youth in the country, which are at the heart of the project. We are all looking forward to starting working with her. »

The Lausanne 2020 Youth Olympic Games will take place from 9 to 22 January 2020 with 1,880 athletes (15-18 years old) from more than 80 countries. The competitions will take place in the cantons of Vaud (Lausanne, Leysin, Les Diablerets, Villars, Vallée de Joux), Valais (Champéry), Grisons (St-Moritz) and neighbouring France (Prémanon-Les Tuffes).

Photo: ©Keystone Jean-Christophe Bott