Emotions on ice: Olympic medals are back in St. Moritz

It has been almost 72 years since the last time Olympic gold was awarded in St. Moritz. By combining history and innovation in the most beautiful way, competition has started today on the Engadine frozen lake in the Graubünden winter sports mecca.

It was just over 863 months ago - or exactly 26,272 days that the last medals of the St. Moritz Olympic Winter Games were awarded on 8 February 1948. For the home team on that day, the Swiss hockey players received their bronze medals after losing the decisive game against the winner Canada in the St. Moritz Olympic Stadium with 0: 3.

Wind forward to 12 January 12 2020 and medals are being awarded once again. This time it is for Dutch athlete Isabel Grevelt (gold), Jingyi Wang of China (silver) and the Japanese Yukino Yoshida (bronze) to claim their medals in the 500 metres race.


Mixing innovation with tradition

St Moritz is iconic in Winter Olympic history, so this week marks an emotional return to the city. It is a place where tradition and innovation work in harmony and a good example of this the natural ice of the frozen lake that is used for the speed skating competitions.

Sport and the lake have also had a long history, whether polo, cricket, or golf, for over a centry people have enjoyed sport on the ice. Holding the speed skating competitions on the natural site is a first however, and a glimpse into the future perhaps for hosting a sustainable games – by using existing resources in a creative way and reducing the cost of building new infrastructure.


Drawing on the expertise

In line with the Lausanne 2020 approach, the smart use of venues also includes drawing upon the expertise on hand, from Lausanne to St Moritz and all the other venues sites.

As the two-time host of the Winter Olympics (1928 and 1948) and as the home of a multitude of sporting events with a global appeal, the teams working with the Lausanne 2020 have a wealth of experience. Building the oldest and only natural ice track in the world, or creating speed skating tracks on natural ice, they know how to do it!

If you combine this with the picturesque beauty of the Engadine region, the Olympic spirit of St.Moritz will stay in the hearts of the athletes and fans long after the Games.

And the good news: you don't have to wait seven decades for the next Olympic medals! Tomorrow there is even more competitions in speed skating for the 1500 metres race.