"These are your Games, this is your time!"
The inauguration of the IOC's new headquarters is of course an opportunity to think for a moment about the IOC's attachment to this region: if you had one wish for the future of this relationship, what would it be?
Thomas Bach (TB), President of the International Olympic Committee : The IOC and Lausanne share a relationship that goes back over a century. Like any relationship, we need affection, mutual respect and a lot of appreciation for each other. Speaking personally, I have fallen in love with Lausanne and the Lausannois. The relationship with the city, the Canton of Vaud and Switzerland have never been so good. The Olympic House which we are inaugurating on the 125th anniversary of the IOC, is also a demonstration of our deep bond to Lausanne. My wish for the future is for this bond and affection to grow ever stronger.
The next Youth Olympic Games are coming to the Olympic Capital. This is a historical moment of course. What synergies can we expect?
TB : The main synergy is teamwork. Sharing the same city with not only the organising committee, but many of our stakeholders, has significant benefits, it enables us to fully build the Youth Olympic Games together based on our shared set of values – ultimately that the YOG is created by young people and for young people. This is what we see becoming a reality with the involvement of young people and students at every step of the journey. We have a great sense of teamwork both in the preparation and the new innovations we have introduced, and in terms of resources. Already you will see several of the IOC team working full-time with the Lausanne 2020 team and this will be boosted further as more of the IOC team will work as volunteers to support the whole Games-time operation.
Do you have a message to send to Lausanne youth?
TB : These are your Games, this is your time! Be part of it, get involved and experience the Olympic spirit in your home town. This is a once in a lifetime experience so just enjoy it.