Lausanne 2020 makes youth Olympians shine in Switzerland and around the world

Lausanne, 23 January 2020 – In the aftermath of the Closing Ceremony of the Games, we take a look back at some of the key numbers from this 3rd edition of the Winter Youth Olympics.

A total of 1,872 young athletes between the ages of 15 and 18 from 79 countries took part in 81 events in 8 sports and 16 disciplines at 8 competition venues in the cantons of Vaud (Lausanne, La Vallée de Joux, Leysin, Les Diablerets, Villars), Valais (Champéry), Grisons (St. Moritz) and in neighbouring France (Les Rousses, Stade des Tuffes). For the first time in a Winter Olympics competition, there was an equal number of men and women.

In total, more than 640,000 spectators attended the Games, at the competitions or at the "En Jeux"! " festivals, including 80,000 schoolchildren. The sports competitions attracted more than 350,000 people at the 8 competition venues. Several indoor competitions, including figure skating and short track at the Lausanne Skating Arena (Malley 2.0) were sold out days in advance. At the Vaudoise arena, site of the ice hockey competitions, several matches were sold out (8,000 spectators), results rarely achieved for junior competitions (under 16 years of age). In some host venues, up to 10,000 spectators flocked to the competition areas during the weekends.


In addition to the competitions, the "En Jeux !" festivals at the venues were all a great success. In Lausanne, for example, more than 200,000 visitors attended the shows or participated in the "Lausanne en Jeux !" events. ". The medal ceremonies drew an average of 2,000 spectators each evening at the Place des Médailles in the Flon district.

For the first time, as many as 80% of the delegations present at the Games used the public transport system set up for the Games. This was a great first, showing the viability of such a system. Lausanne 2020 thanks all of the partners involved in this effort, tl, the CFF, the tic, Travys, and NstCM for their commitment and determination in making it a success.

Over the course of the Games, public transport in the Lausanne region (tl) carried more than one million passengers on the m2 metro, 30% more than last year during the same period. On the two Sundays of the Games, tl recorded 60% more travellers compared to the same period in 2019.

The Mobilis network's special offer of discounted daily tickets to the Games venues was also a great success with 3,500 tickets sold to non-passholders. These sales were generated over the two weekends of the Games.

Many people who were not present at the venues were able to follow the adventure from further afield. 

In Switzerland, the Opening Ceremony was a great success, and was broadcast live on three national channels. In French-speaking Switzerland (RTS), the Opening Ceremony achieved a market share of around 25% (3 times more than the usual market share), when it was broadcast live on January 9th. In addition to local popularity, it was an international hit as well, with more than 1,000 accredited media from 39 countries and 4 continents in attendance. The daily round-ups of all competitions were broadcast in 191 countries around the world, compared with 89 in Lillehammer in 2016. More than 165 hours of live coverage were produced by the Olympic Broadcasting Service (OBS).

While traditional media were present, digital platforms also broke audience records during the Youth Games. An average of 220,000 unique visitors consulted the Olympic platform web sites each day (Lausanne 2020. sport,, and, three times more than for the Lillehammer 2016 Youth Games. The social networks attracted around 456,000 new followers across all platforms. The official app was downloaded more than 40,000 times. During the Games, it was one of the three most downloaded sports apps in Switzerland.

The IOC’s global Olympic Channel digital platform ensured worldwide coverage for Lausanne 2020 which included a 24/7 Youth Olympic Games Channel that was also distributed to rights holders and more than 40 partners within the Olympic Family.

The news content produced by the IOC Newsroom (CIO) was picked up by 744 channels around the world. More than 50 hours of news coverage highlighted the talent of young athletes.

A general enthusiasm

A general enthusiasm, reinforced by the exceptional performances of the youth athletes, and elevated by the undeniable contributions of the innovative two-wave system, allowed for a greater number of athletes participating in the Games.

Virginie Faivre, President of Lausanne 2020: "The Games are coming to an end, and everywhere, the pressure is mounting to leave with a feeling of pride and accomplishment. The festivities were indeed great, from the spectacular performances of the athletes, to the enthusiasm of the spectators, to the exceptional atmosphere at the En Jeux! Festivals. It is with great pride that we are about to close this wonderful sporting and cultural adventure that was Lausanne 2020. A unique moment which will remain forever engraved in our hearts and memories. "

Thomas Bach, President of the IOC: “The Youth Olympic Games Lausanne 2020 have been a huge success. We are delighted that the Organising Committee fully adopted the reforms of the IOC and Olympic Agenda 2020. These reforms meant that we saw new sports and new disciplines at these Games. They led to full gender balance and highly inclusive Games. All I can say is thank you to the people of Lausanne, Vaud and Switzerland for hosting the Youth Olympic Games in this way, and for welcoming the athletes with hospitality and fraternity; and in particular I would like to thank all the volunteers, who have been the face of these Games and who have made this a unique Olympic experience for athletes from all over the world.”

Ian Logan, CEO of Lausanne 2020: "These Games were everything we had dreamed of during the last four years and so much more. The bet has paid off. Many thanks to all of the teams, the volunteers, our partners, the City of Lausanne, the Cantons of Vaud, Valais, and Grisons, the French Jura, The Confederation, Swiss Olympic, the IOC, and all those who, from near and from far contributed to making Lausanne 2020 such a spectacular and welcoming event. We have proven that different, innovative Games by, for, and with Youth are possible. We are confident that the legacy of these Games will span years and borders, positively contributing to the future of the Olympic Movement. I know that Patrick Baumann is watching us, and I think he is proud of what we have accomplished."