Looking ahead to L2020 – infrastructure legacy

With only 10 months to go until the start of the Winter Youth Olympic Games (YOG) Lausanne 2020, we focus on the Organising Committee’s plans for legacy around the Games.

There will be an inevitable sense of sadness when the eagerly anticipated 14 days of competition conclude at the third edition of the Winter YOG in 2020. Lausanne has been readying itself for the Games since it was named host city by the IOC in July 2015, but organisers are confident that the years of meticulous planning and preparation will leave a positive and lasting legacy.

The jewel in the post-YOG crown will undoubtedly be the Vortex building on the campus of the University of Lausanne. Constructed to house 1,880 athletes in 952 rooms and apartments during the YOG, the Vortex will live on after the Games as much-needed accommodation for local students.

The extensive redevelopment of the city’s Espace Malley venue is another significant infrastructure dividend. Featuring an Olympic swimming pool, a 9,700-capacity ice rink, and table tennis and fencing facilities, the building will host the YOG short track speed skating, figure skating and ice hockey competitions.

After January 2020, it will become home to Lausanne Hockey Club, as well as hosting the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championships in May.

“Engaging in a project of this scale for just two weeks in 2020 is not the only goal we’re hoping to achieve,” says Olivier Delapierre, the Organising Committee’s Head of Public Relations and Engagement. “The YOG have helped bring the ice rink’s renovation along more quickly.”

There will also be a lasting impact on the resort of Les Diablerets, home to the YOG’s Alpine skiing events, with the installation of new ski lifts, improving the resort for winter and summer activities, and a new ski slope that is now in line with International Ski Federation (FIS) standards.

In addition, the facilities in the municipality of Leysin, which will host the ski freestyle and snowboard competitions, have undergone significant refurbishments that will benefit future generations. As a result of the YOG, there is also a cross-border agreement in place between the French department of Jura and Switzerland’s Nordic teams, who will enjoy access for the next 20 years to the upgraded facilities in Les Tuffes, Station des Rousses, after the venue has staged the ski jump, biathlon and Nordic events.

“This is what it is all about when considering the long-term impact,” said Ian Logan, CEO of the Lausanne 2020 Organising Committee. “The Games can act as accelerators for initiatives that will truly mark the history of the region for the better.”

Picture: ©José Crespo