The Lausanne 2020 Torch Tour
On September 17th, the Lausanne 2020 Olympic flame was lit during a traditional ignition ceremony in the Panathenaic Stadium in Athens. The flame returned to Switzerland, where it embarked on a tour stopping in each of the 26 cantons of the country before returning to Lausanne for a tradition torch relay in the Olympic Capital, in the lead up to the Opening Ceremony of the Games on January 9th, 2020.
All the stages of the Lausanne 2020 Youth Olympic Flame
You can find all the steps with dates and times at this link.
The Lausanne 2020 Youth Olympic Flame lit in Athenes
The torch lighting ceremony preceding any Olympic torch relay is one of the most symbolic Olympic events. On September 17th, it was Lausanne 2020’s turn to step into the spotlight as its Olympic flame was lit, marking the beginning of its journey from Athens, Greece to Lausanne, Switzerland. During the ceremony, a crowd of 1’400 kids from local schools as well as representatives from the Hellenic Olympic Committee watched as the flame was lit using the rays of the sun, as was done for the ancient Olympic Games. More information
The Lausanne 2020 Youth Olympics Flame arrives in Switzerland!
Following the traditional lighting ceremony in Athens, Greece, the Lausanne 2020 Youth Olympic Flame arrived in Geneva International Airport on September 18th, its first stop in Switzerland before the start of the first ever bi-national Youth Olympic Games’ Torch Tour which starts in Lausanne on September 21st. On this occasion, representatives from the Canton of Vaud, the Canton of Geneva, the Cities of Lausanne and Geneva, the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Lausanne 2020, Swiss Olympic, Geneva International Airport and SWISS were present to welcome the Flame.
The arrival of the Youth Olympic Flame at Geneva International Airport marked a historic moment in Switzerland’s Olympic history and the first milestone on its journey across the nation. More information
3’000 schoolchildren gather to celebrate Lausanne 2020
An extraordinary gathering took place on September 19th at the Stade Pierre-de-Coubertin in Lausanne. Over 3,000 students and 400 guests gathered to celebrate the Canton of Vaud around the theme “One Lausanne 2020 flag in each municipality of Vaud”. For this event, each municipality was invited to come to Lausanne with one representative of their Municipality and to nominate two students to bring their municipal flag to this ceremony and to return home with the Lausanne 2020 flag. A total of 612 students participated in this symbolic exchange.
The Lausanne 2020 Youth Olympic Flame also made a surprise appearance, brought to the stadium by four young athletes, just a few days before the torch leaves for its journey around Switzerland. More information
The first stages of the Torch Tour of the Canton of Vaud (21-27.09)
The Olympic Flame for Lausanne 2020 has started its tour of the Canton of Vaud, stopping at the first four of its destinations: Place de la Riponne, Lausanne, and schools in Morges, Nyon and Yverdon.
On September 21st, the Flame illuminated one of the main squares of Lausanne, Place de la Riponne. Various stands and activities related to the Youth Olympic Games occupied the square, to the delight of numerous passers-by and visitors. The public was given a unique opportunity to take photos of the lantern containing the Olympic Flame and to look at it from close quarters.
The Flame then went on to Morges on September 24th, accompanied by the Olympian sprinter and ambassador, Sarah Atcho. They were welcomed by pupils from Morges West and Morges East.
On September 26th, it was the turn of the Olympians Peter de Cruz and Léa Sprunger to host the arrival of the Flame in Nyon.
The following day, theskier Niki Lehikoinen brought the Flame to Yverdon.
The Flame continues to burn through the Canton of Vaud (30.09.-04.10)
After an emotional first week that has seen a bunch of top-notch athletes, the second week turned out to be full of surprises too.
Starting with Payerne on September 30 where two generations of judokas, Olympians Juliane Robra (London 2012) and Eric Hänni (Tokyo 1964 silver medalist), inspired young and old alike.
To celebrate the 100 days to go of the Lausanne 2020 Youth Olympic Games on 1st October, three great Swiss and French athletes took the Flame to Aigle, thus representing the two host nations united. Lausanne 2020, the first binational games in the history of the Olympics! Ski cross specialist Emilie Serain (Vancouver 2010), Olympic champion in Nordic Combined the French Vincent Defrasne (2002, 2006, 2010), and triple Paralympic champion in Alpine Skiing Théo Gmür (PyeongChang 2018) lit the cauldron in Aigle, at the bottom of the Vaud Alps stations that will host numerous events during the Games.
The next day in Ollon, it was the turn of the world champion and Olympic triathlon medalist Magali di Marco Messmer to bring the Flame amidst the cheers of the students and many spectators.
On October 3rd, the Olympic Flame stopped at the University of Lausanne (UNIL), a few meters from the Youth Olympic Village. Rower and student at UNIL Augustin Maillefer (Singapore 2010, London 2012, Rio 2016) had the honor of carrying the Flame in front of the students and staff members of the University of Lausanne and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne.
To wrap up this splendid week, the Flame went to Echallens where snowboarder Pat Burgener (PyeongChang 2018), badminton specialist Sabrina Jaquet (London 2012, Rio 2016) and Greek skier Maria Ntanou (2010, 2018) shared with the kids their passion for sport.
The Flame ends its Tour of the canton of Vaud (07.10-13.10)
Last week, the Youth Olympic Flame travelled its final kilometres (for the time being) through the Canton of Vaud. If you missed it, you will have to follow it into German-speaking Switzerland or await its return, as of December 28th, for its tour of the Lausanne 2020 venues.
The Flame started its week with a stopover at Château d’Oex. The skier Erika Hess, an Olympic Games bronze medallist at Lake Placid (1980), passed through a crowd of pupils at Henchoz College carrying the Flame.
The next stage of the journey was to the newly opened ice rink, the Vaudoise Arena, where the Olympic Flame was hosted by pupils from Prilly and Renens in turn, this time carried by the great tennis champion and Olympic medal winner, Timea Bacsinszky.
The next day, the Olympians Anne-Sophie Thilo (sailing) and Pamela Fischer (synchronized swimming) made pupils of classes from Bourg-en-Lavaux starry-eyed from gazing at the Flame.
For the opening of Olympic Week, which began on Sunday, October 13th, and goes on until Thursday, October 17th, at the lakeside in front of the Olympic Museum, it was the President of Lausanne 2020 and freestyle ski champion Virginie Faivre who carried the Flame, along with the Head of the education project for Paris 2024, the French basketball Olympic medallist, Emmeline Ndongue.
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