Lausanne 2020 ahead of their calendar

9th of April 2018, Lausanne – The organisation committee of the Youth Olympic Games (YOG) Lausanne 2020 assembled the media representatives in order to highlight the advancement of the project and their organisation. The director of the Olympic Games of the International Olympic Committee, Christophe Dubi, took the opportunity to underline the excellent conduct of the project, where the calendar is not only respected but in advance on many key organisational aspects.

641 days away, the Lausanne 2020 organisation committee wished to make an update about the organisation of the Youth Olympic Games in not only the conduct and governmental aspects, but also the way they integrate in their work, the educational elements and the youth engagement. All the contributors were part of their big satisfaction concerning the way the project is lead. These people were present: the president of the organisation committee Patrick Baumann, the Vaud councillor of state and member of the executive committee Philippe Leuba, the departmental director of the Olympic Games at the IOC Christophe Dubi, the general director of the organisation committee Ian Logan and the representative of the Lausanne University for the educational aspects Olivier Mutter.

All the representatives from the host venues of the YOG were also present: Lausanne, Les Diablerets, Villars, Leysin, la Vallée de Joux (VD), Champéry (VS), St-Moritz (GR) and Prémanon-Les Tuffes (FR). The organisation committee of the YOG and the venues held a preliminary meeting, and everyone was able to give detailed information about the advancement of their preparation. These venues are today, all definitive.

The presentation by sport and venue highlighted the following points:

- The organisational committee’s control of the complexity of the athletic program and the logistic aspects, including the geography of the venues and the event calendar.

- The fact that Lausanne 2020 will be the first edition of YOG with perfect equality between female and male athletes.

- The benefit of the principal of two waves that will bring 65% more competitors to Lausanne than in the previous editions of the YOG, to reach the number of 1880 athletes coming from over 70 countries.

Concerning the educational aspects of the project, all the lights are green. The different engaged partners all showed their enthusiasm to collaborate in this unique project and when allowed, around the athletic thematic, reunites the academic and cultural disciplines in an extremely innovative way. The present developed programs are at the result of new types of collaborations between partners like the Université de Lausanne (UNIL) l’École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), l’École hôtelière de Lausanne (EHL), le Centre hospitalier universitaire Vaudois (CHUV) as well as the Institut National Français du Sport, de l’Expertise et de la Performance (INSEP).  These programs are at an advanced stage of planning, in close collaboration with the IOC. A certain amount of these modules will be tested, in October, at the next summer Youth Olympic games, in Buenos Aires (ARG).

The regional youth itself is already very actively engaged. An example of this is the engagement of the Ecole Romande d’arts et communication in Lausanne (ERACOM), where more than a hundred students are currently working on the mascot of Lausanne 2020, the visual identity of the YOG and its pictograms. A unique piece of work allowing a collaboration and an interaction between all visual art departments of the school. Other collaborations of this type, with diverse regional institutions, will be announced in the months to come.

Patrick Baumann, president of the organisation committee of Lausanne 2020 declared: « It came across as important today to clearly explain where we are at 640 days from the games. Our work is advancing particularly well, and we are very satisfied with the way that they are lead by our general director M. Ian Logan, his team and a few other people implicated. These teams are in reality a start-up in a strong development until January 2020. This goal date, coupled with the need to finalize a lot of elements before it, puts a lot of pressure of the different actors. It’s the nature of a project like this: ambitious and complex at the same time. It obliges everyone to sit down around the table at each stage, like today, and unitedly overcome any obstacle. It is a considerable effort which shows the sporting movement and the public authorities. The engagement of everyone towards the youth and Lausanne 2020 is unshakable. I thank each and every one of you, just like I thank the IOC for its constant constructive accompanying in the supervision of our project. To this day, we can measure the impact of these games and their heritage. This is very positive, and the organisation committee is delighted to continue with this rhythm. »

On his side, Christophe Dubi, director of the department of the Olympic Games to the IOC continued: «It is obviously our mission to closely follow this work of all the organisation committees. We are very close to the Lausanne 2020 team where the collaboration is of excellent quality. The YOG is a complex project, because they have ambition to go above and beyond the pure competitive aspect, putting forward the educational and cultural aspects of sport. We want the YOG to be an incubator of new ideas for the future of the Olympic games in a way where the values that they convey are able to continue to vibrate the youth. From the first days, Lausanne 2020 has extremely well grasped this element and has put in place an impressing disposition which is aimed at innovating in all domains, including via collaborations between good quality partners. All the work is up to date and even in advance for some. If these objectives continue to be respected as they are, Lausanne 2020 will be an astounding tool for the international promotion of Lausanne, the canton of Vaud and Switzerland as a young, athletic and leading country in research of innovation. »

Philippe Leuba, state counsellor and member of the executive committee of Lausanne 2020 added: « The city of Lausanne and the canton of Vaud wanted these games. We continue on this same thread and we want to give the world what we promised at Kuala Lumpur in July 2015. Today, the Vortex is in construction, the project in les Diablerets is unblocked and the new Malley ice-rink will be ready. At the Vallée de Joux like in the Vaud Alpes or at our neighbours les Tuffes, the YOG is an initiator for magnificent local and regional long-term projects for our young athletes and our venues. Finally, at St-Moritz, we benefit from a huge variety of past knowledge because the City organises more than 200 events per year as well as the world cups. All the infrastructures are existing, and it remains to put together the ice rink for the speed skating on the frozen lake. All the while respecting the democratic procedures liked to each element associated with the development of the project, we are delighted to continue to work, in order to put forward le exceptional expertise of our region in terms of innovation and managing our future in a sustainable way. »