All stakeholders involved in the organisation of the Lausanne 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games meet four times a year to give a complete overview of event’s organizational progress. Today's meeting, held in the Flon district in the heart of the Olympic Capital, proved the ideal occasion to announce new collaborations, both with new business partners and renowned local sports ambassadors.
With 463 days to go before the opening ceremony, the Organising Committee met in Lausanne for a working and information session. The organisation is going according to plan: construction is progressing well, particularly in Dorigny (University Campus), with the “Vortex” (the planned Youth Olympic Village); in Malley, with the Vaudoise Arena (Ice Hockey, Figure Skating and Short Track); in Leysin with the development of the Berneuse area (Freestyle) and in Les Diablerets with the redevelopment of the Meilleret sector (Alpine Skiing). These fast developments will allow each site to already organise test events this winter.
This meeting was also an opportunity to announce the arrival of new partners in the project. Retraites Populaires (Pension Fund), Swisscom (Telecommunications), ECA (Insurance), Loyco (HR), Le Quartier du Flon (Real Estate), DB Schenker (Logistics) have all joined Omega (the official timekeeper) in becoming partners of Lausanne 2020. Institutional partners have also been confirmed: the Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne (EHL), the Ecole Romande d'Arts et Communication (ERACOM), the Ecole cantonale d'art de Lausanne (ECAL), the Construction school of the Fédération Vaudoise des Entrepreneurs, the Federal School of Engeneering (EPFL), the University of Lausanne (UNIL), HEIG-VD (Engeneering & Management School), CHUV (Hospital) and HEMU (Music school). The Fonds du Sport Vaudois also joins the project as the entity redistributing lottery funds to local sport.
Philippe Doffey, Managing Director of Retraites Populaires, said: "As an important local investor, we are involved in the development of the region and we support several cultural and sporting events. We are proud to be part of an Olympic event which will take place just a stone's throw away from our headquarters.”
Annette Kohler, Project Manager, Partnership & Live Experiences at Swisscom, added: "Swisscom has been a sponsor of Swiss winter sports for many years. That is why we are particularly delighted to be able to partner in such a large-scale project that promotes sport among young people and will reveal their talents.“
The Organising Committee was also able to announce the first three ambassadors of Lausanne 2020, Virginie Faivre, Pat Burgener and Augustin Maillefer.
Virginie Faivre, multiple half-pipe FIS world champion and Olympian in Sochi, is very happy to continue her collaboration with Lausanne 2020: "As an ambassador for the bid of Lausanne 2020, I had the chance to be in Kuala Lumpur in 2015 when Lausanne won the right to host the Youth Olympic Games. It is great that this project has become a reality now and I am delighted to continue to wear the Lausanne 2020 colours until the Games."
Pat Burgener, bronze medallist at the 2017 FIS World Championships in half-pipe and an Olympian in PyeongChang this year, equally expressed her delight to see an Olympic event coming to Switzerland: "The magic of the Games is exceptional. I am proud to be an ambassador for a project that brings the Olympic spirit to life throughout Switzerland.”
Rower Augustin Maillefer, a former u23 World Champion and Olympian in 2012 and 2016, stressed the importance that the Youth Olympic Games had in his sporting career: "The Singapore 2010 Summer Youth Olympic Games were one of the most important international events in the early stages of my career. Two years later, I participated in the London Olympics and then, in 2016, in the Rio Olympics. I look forward to sharing this Olympic experience with the new generation of athletes."
At the end of the session, Ian Logan, Director of the Organising Committee, praised all partners involved: "It is of course a great pride for the entire Organising Committee to see such prestigious names from private companies, athletes and academic institutions join our project. I would like to thank them all for their trust. It is through all our partners that we will succeed in promoting the city of Lausanne, the States of Vaud, Valais and Grisons, and Switzerland as a whole as a world centre of excellence in the fields of sport, innovation and education.”