The Lausanne 2020 cauldron will be a first in the history of the Olympic Games
Today, the Organising Committee of the Lausanne 2020 Youth Olympic Games is pleased to announce that its Olympic cauldron, whose construction began on June 17th, 2019, will be powered for the first time in the history of the Games by an eco-responsible fuel. This Olympic symbol will be the result of a partnership between Lausanne 2020, the Ecole cantonale d'art de Lausanne (ECAL), Lignum Vaud, L'Ecole de la Construction and C-For!
Making its way from the lighting ceremony in Athens, Greece, the Olympic flame will make its journey across Switzerland to light the Olympic cauldron of Lausanne 2020 on January 9th, 2020 during the Opening Ceremony of the 3rd Winter Youth Olympic Games in Lausanne. For the first time in the history of the Games and in response to Lausanne 2020's commitment to sustainability, the Olympic cauldron will be powered by wood pellets. It will also be the result of a unique partnership between several organisations in the region who, together, are building a unique value chain from design to completion of the cauldron.
To start, Lignum Vaud, the Regional Action Community of Lignum Swiss Wood Economy which regroups all the regional stakeholders from the wood sector, has led the design and manufacturing of the burner, the cauldron's central element. A team of thermal engineers, mechanical engineers and mechanics has developed a new technology. This innovative system will make the flame fully autonomous for 24-hour cycles, which was the only guideline set by the Lausanne 2020 Organising Committee. This means that the burner will not need any external power supply to operate and will only be filled with pellets once a day. And that is where its greatest particularity lies: the only fuel used will be Swiss wood pellets, a first in the history of the Games, but also a sustainable solution and an opportunity to promote local knowledge and know-how.
In parallel, the design of the Olympic cauldron was entrusted to a class of ECAL Industrial Design Bachelor's students, who discussed with the apprentices from the Ecole de la Construction and C-For!, in charge of production, but also with Lignum Vaud to develop a technically feasible project. Among several proposals, only one project was elected by a jury specially organised for the occasion. C-For! then took care of the technical drawings required for its production. In order to promote the hard work and innovative ideas from all students, the cauldrons projects which were not selected will be on display at the Olympic Museum from October 2019 until the end of the YOG.
Since June 17th, 2019, the apprentices of the C-For! and the Ecole de la Construction of Tolochenaz have begun constructing the cauldron that will cover the burner designed by Lignum's multidisciplinary team. A team of 6 apprentices from the Ecole de la Construction as well as a team of apprentices from C-For! were welcomed in the workshops of the training centre (C-For!) of the Services industriels de Lausanne in order to take turns to give life to the design imagined by ECAL. The end of production of the cauldron is scheduled for early autumn. All that will remain a secret until the opening ceremony when the final creation is set to be unveiled!