The Youth Olympic Games are an international Olympic sporting event of the highest level for athletes aged 15 to 18.
They combine sports performance, culture and education in an authentic celebration of sport with a festive atmosphere. The aim is to encourage young people to adopt and represent the positive values of sport – respect for others, for themselves and for our environment; friendship between people and cultures; and, excellence in self-giving – and to become sports ambassadors throughout the world.
The Lausanne 2020 ambition
Lausanne 2020 is seeking to create a new sports platform for young people by actively involving them in the preparation and organisation of the event. This means engaging the local, regional and even national population around a unique, unifying occasion, that seeks to create a better world. Promoting and giving responsibility to young people by providing them with an opportunity to become ambassadors of positive sports values, acquire new talents and achieve self-accomplishment by becoming the leaders of tomorrow. All this while making the Youth Olympic Games a creative laboratory; an incubator of ideas from young people, for young people, drawing inspiration from Switzerland’s heritage and unique assets in education, culture and innovation.
Lausanne 2020 in numbers
The city of Lausanne will be at the heart of the Youth Olympic Games, and will host the Youth Olympic Village, the ceremonies and all ice sports (ice hockey, short track speed skating and figure skating). Curling will take place in Champéry. The Alpine skiing, ski mountaineering, freestyle skiing and snowboard events will take place in the towns of Les Diablerets, Leysin and Villars in the Vaud Alps. The Nordic skiing events will take place partly in the Vallée de Joux (cross-country skiing), and partly in neighbouring France, in Prémanon at the Tuffes site (ski jumping, biathlon and Nordic combined). Bobsleigh, skeleton, luge and speed skating events will take place in St Moritz. The cultural and educational programme will take place at all the venues, with its heart at the Dorigny university campus in Lausanne.
Pictograms, graphic representations of sports disciplines, are a core element of the visual expression of the Olympic Games. In line with its ambition to actively involve young people in the preparation and organisation of the event, Lausanne 2020 has entrusted the development of the pictograms to ERACOM (Ecole romande d’arts et communication de Lausanne), a Lausanne-based arts school. The Organising Committee unveiled them 300 days before the Lausanne 2020 Youth Olympic Games get underway.
Upon their arrival in the host city, athletes stay in the Olympic Village. While at the Games, their time is not devoted exclusively to competing: it is also an opportunity for them to meet other athletes from different countries and cultures. Lausanne 2020 will have two Olympic Villages: one in Lausanne and the other in St. Moritz.
The mascot is one of the central elements of Olympic Games since 1972. Often reflecting the culture and the history of the region, it represents the spirit of the Modern Olympic Games. Lausanne 2020 revealed its official mascot a year to the day before the opening of the 3rd Winter Youth Olympic Games. Its name is «Yodli».
Designers and artists from around the world were invited to participate in the competition to design the medal that the three top athletes in each category will wear around their neck in January 2020. The winning Entry of the IOC Medal Design Competition for the Lausanne 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games has been chosen. It was submitted by 20-year-old Zakea Page from New Zealand and is entitled “Beauty In Diversity”.
The goal of Lausanne 2020 is to reveal talent, create synergies, involve thousands of young people and put together a true celebration. To reach this objective, and in order to promote the Olympic spirit throughout Switzerland and neighbouring France, Lausanne 2020 has surrounded itself with ambassadors. High-level athletes who hold and endorse its values, and who inspire the next generation of athletes.