"To ensure that sport is accessible to everyone"
You just visited 3 of Lausanne 2020 sites. What do you get out of it?
Sarah Lewis (SL), General Secretary FIS and member of the Coordination Commission: It was of great benefit to observe the clear focus on advancing the necessary preparations at these three venues: the Olympic Village and Ice rinks in Lausanne which are under construction and the Freestyle Ski and Snowboard park in Leysin, which is ready and will have hosted FIS Junior World Championships in halfpipe by the time the newsletter is published. Until now the IOC Coordination Commission has mostly followed the projects through presentations, but to see them come to fruition was highly beneficial and has given a clear vision of their quality, both for the Lausanne 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games, but especially as fantastic facilities for the local community to have at their disposal. I'm sure the LeysinPark will be full of young freeskiers and snowboarders in no time - it's a marvellous terrain park.
On a more personal level, what advice would you give to the Organising Committee?
SL : With less than a year until the Games, the operational steps to be accomplished are considerable and this was a key aspect we addressed during the IOC Coordination Commission. The Youth Olympic Games are considerably larger than the last time Switzerland hosted the Olympic Winter Games in 1948! Lausanne and other places in Switzerland are home to the majority of the International Sports Federations in addition to the IOC in the Olympic Capital, so there is huge experience on the doorstep to support the Organising Committee in this crucial operational phase of finalising operational planning that has to be implemented very soon.
What are you looking forward to seeing in 2020? What are you most excited about?
SL : In addition to visiting as many competitions as possible, hopefully I will have a chance to see the enthusiasm of thousands of young athletes from all over the world who are brought together, through sport and the Olympic Movement sharing experiences and forging friendships; this is very special and is a huge motivation in our work to ensure that sport is accessible to everyone and plays a key role in their lives.
Photo: ©Keystone/Jean-Christophe Bott