The Lausanne 2020 Torch Tour

From 21 September, the torch will travel through the 26 Swiss cantons for a four-month trip that will end on the evening of the opening ceremony of Lausanne 2020, on 9 January.

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

©Keystone-ATS

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

©Keystone-ATS

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

©Keystone-ATS


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 Biathlon 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.

The Flame has hit the road in Switzerland (Oct 28th to the 31st)

After having traveled to each of the districts in Vaud, the Flame hit the road on October 28th for its Swiss Tour. The first stop was Geneva where it was held by Paralympic Céline Van Till, for the delight of all children present. The athlete from Geneva (Equestrian; Track and Field) explained how sports were the best medicine for her and how they enabled her to come back to life: “I encourage you to never give up”

Céline Van Till in Geneva © Keystone


Another person for whom sports is “all of (his) life”, is the Swiss Marathoner (the fastest in our country!) Tadesse Abraham, a Eritrean refugee. He held the flame high in front of the United Nations building in Geneva: “As soon as you start doing sports, you have a dream!”

On October 31st, the Flame halted at the train station in Zurich, where it was welcomed by many passersby as well as Olympic Champion Dominique Gisin (Alpine Skiing) and European Champion and triple Olympic athlete Sarah Meier (Figure Skating). A moment rich in emotion!

The Flame continues its journey! (04.11-09.11)

The Flame travelled to the North-West of Switzerland, making four stops along the way during the week of November 4, to meet scores of school children from the different Swiss cantons.

The first stop was Porrentruy, in the Jura, where Justine and Sarah Forster, two sisters with Olympic medals in Ice hockey (Justine at the Lillehammer 2016 YOG, Sarah at the Sotchi 2014 OG), lit the Olympic cauldron together.
Justine Forster, the younger of the two, talked about her experience at the Lillehammer Youth Olympic Games three years ago: «They prepare us for our career, it’s a real springboard for an athlete.»
Her big sister Sarah, who experienced the traditional Games, Sochi and PyeongChang, felt honoured to carry a symbol as meaningful as the Olympic Flame: «There’s a lot of emotion, it represents a great deal for me.»

On Wednesday November 6, the Neuchâtel natives Denis Oswald (triple Olympian in rowing, Olympic medallist and member of the IOC executive commission) and Robin Cuche (Alpine skiing, Sochi 2014 and PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Games, 2017 Neuchâtel Sportsman) had the opportunity to make the eyes of the many children in attendance shine.

Lucas Tramèr, Olympic Rowing Champion (Rio 2016) and multiple World Champion, brought the Flame to Basel the next day, surrounded by the famous mascot Yodli and hundreds of children.

Finally, on Saturday, in Solothurn, the Olympic Flame was carried by Mike Kurt (canoe slalom). The triple Olympian (2004, 2008, 2012) shared his sporting experience with the large crowd, as well as his involvement as a former athlete, and now a member of the Swiss Olympic Executive Committee.

The Lausanne 2020 Olympic Torch continues its adventure! (11.11-16.11)

The Tour of Switzerland started two weeks ago already. Do not miss any stage of its journey!
During the week of November 11th to 16th, the Olympic Torch of Lausanne 2020 started in the capital, Bern. It then stopped in Oberhofen, the headquarters of the International Ski Federation (FIS), followed by Fribourg and Sion at the end of the week.

An important milestone was reached on November 11th, when the Torch came to Bern, the capital of Switzerland. To mark this occasion, two great athletes were present to light the Olympic cauldron: Pascal Bitschnau (Snowboardcross, silver medalist at the 2016 Lillehammer YOG), the first athlete to carry the Torch in Athens, and Jonas Hiller, who felt honoured to hold this symbolic object, which he had already seen many times (Ice Hockey, Olympic Games of Vancouver, 2010; Sochi, 2014; and PyeongChang, 2018). Yodli, Lausanne 2020's mascot, was able to pose in front of the Federal Palace.

The next day, the Torch remained in the vicinity of the canton of Bern, as it went to Oberhofen, the headquarters of the International Ski Federation (FIS). Tanja Frieden, Olympic Champion in Turin in 2006 (Snowboardcross), who had come to watch this unique moment of the Olympic Games, greeted the crowd.

In Fribourg, it was the turn of Freestyle Skiing Olympian Camillia Berra (OG, Sochi, 2014) to carry the symbol of the Lausanne 2020 Youth Olympic Games. The Yodli mascot also took part, as at every stage in the journey, to the delight of young and old alike.

Théo Gmür, triple gold medalist in Alpine Skiing at the 2018 PyeongChang Paralympic Games, made his comeback in the Torch Tour. After taking part at Aigle, he was there at Sion, this time accompanied by the fencer Tiffany Géroudet, European Champion and Olympian.

The Lausanne 2020 Torch reaches Swiss Soil (19.11–23.11)

The Torch has continued its journey, passing through the Ticino and now travelling in the direction of central Switzerland.

For the first time, the Torch went to Locarno in Canton Ticino, where three athletes welcomed it: the Olympians Deborah Scanzio (Freestyle Skiing, OG Turin 2006, Vancouver 2010, Sotchi 2014 et PyeongChang 2018), Phoebe Staenz (Ice Hockey, Sotchi 2014 et PyeongChang 2018) et Nicole Vallario (Ice Hockey, YOG Lillehammer 2016).

It then returned to a Swiss German location, Andermatt. The Olympian Jonas Hunziker (Freestyle Skiing, OG PyeongChang 2018) carried the Lausanne 2020 Torch and lit it in front of numerous school pupils who had come to witness this unique moment.

Four athletes represented Lausanne 2020 at Stans, on 22nd November, when the Olympic Torch stopped there. Béatrice Zimmermann, Telemark Skiing World Champion; Nina Christen, the Olympian shooter; Petra Lustenberger, another professional shooter; and Jessica Keiser, Snowboard (slalom) champion, addressed the pupils who were present on the subject of sporting values.

At Sarnen, it was the turn of the athletes Simon Niepmann (rowing, Olympic champion OG Rio 2016, OG Londres 2012), Viktor Röthlin (marathon, OG 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012), Flavia Barmettler (biathlon) and Kai Schätzle (rowing,YOG Buenos Aires 2018) to light the Olympic Torch. A large gathering witnessed this exceptional event!

Follow the journey of the Lausanne 2020 Olympic Torch (25.11-30.11)

The Olympic Torch has been travelling all over Switzerland for almost month now. The Games are fast approaching, and there only 38 days left before the start of this exceptional event. In the meantime, the Torch has lit up the towns of Aarau, Schaffhousen, Erlen, St-Gallen and Appenzell with its symbolic fire.

The first port of call in the week of November 25th was Aarau, where the Torch was carried by the Olympian Rico Peter (bobsleigh, OG Sotchi 2014 and PyeongChang 2018). More than 200 school children greeted it with great enthusiasm!

The following day, the urn was lit by Marianne Gossweiler-Fankhauser, winner of two Olympic Games medals (horse riding, silver medal at the OG of Tokyo 1964 and bronze medal at the OG of Mexico 1968). The ever-faithful mascot, Yodli, was welcomed by Schaffhousen school children.

The Olympians Jean-Romain Delaloye (diving, OG Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004) and Angelica Moser (pole vaulting, YOG Nanjing 2014 and OG Rio 2016) next carried the Olympic Torch together at Erlen.

At St-Gallen, curlers were there to host the arrival of the Torch. Benoît Schwarz, bronze medallist at the OG of PyeongChang 2018, and Malin da Ros, silver medallist at the European Youth Olympic Festival (EYOF) 2019, came on to the stage to share their experiences as elite athletes.

On Saturday, 30th November, at Appenzell, before a spell-bound audience, the Olympic Torch in the colours of Lausanne 2020 was displayed by Martina Van Berkel (swimming, OG London 2012 and Rio 2016).

The Adventure of the Lausanne 2020 Torch continues (03.12-07.12)

Follow the Lausanne 2020 Olympic Torch to the very end of its journey. Its tour of Switzerland is coming to an end and it is then going to visit all the venues for the Lausanne 2020 Youth Olympic Games.

The Torch went to Lucerne, where it was carried not just by one famous athlete, but by four, who were greeted by a crowd of children: Michael Schmid, European Champion and Olympian (Rowing, OG London 2016), the Olympian Nadine Fähndrich (Cross-country Skiing, OG Pyeong Chang 2018), the Paralympic Champion Marcel Hug, (Athletics, Paralympic Games, Athens 2004, Beijing 2008, London 2012 and Rio 2016) and the Olympic Champion Mario Gyr, (Rowing, OG Rio 2016).

Zoug beat all the records, with seven athletes representing Lausanne 2020 for the lighting of the torch: Patrick Hürlimann (Curling, Olympic champion at Nagano 1998), Marcel Rohner (Bobsleigh, Olympic champion at Nagano 1998), Colette Roth-Brand (Freestyle Skiing, bronze medalist at the OG of Nagano 1998), Michelle Rageth (Freestyle Skiing, multiple Swiss champion), Mike Rageth (Freestyle Skiing, Open Slopestyle 2019 and Swiss Freeski Open Davos Big Air), Valentino Zaetta (Ice Hockey, Swiss champion 2018/19, national team U16) and Simon Niepmann (Rowing, OG London 2012 and Olympic champion at Rio 2016; he also carried the Lausanne 2020 Olympic torch at Sarnen).

At Schwytz, it was the turn of Thomas Pfyl (Alpine Skiing, silver and bronze medalist at the Paralympic OG of Turin 2006 and Vancouver 2010), Martin Annen (Bobsleigh, bronze medalist at the OG of Salt Lake City 2002 and Turin 2006), Elena Schütz (Snowboarding, World Rookie Tour U18, Elite Audi Snowboard Series Grindelwald), Urs Kälin (Alpine Skiing, double World Champion and silver medalist at the OG of Lillehammer in 1994) and Franz Heinzer (Alpine Skiing, OG Calgary 1988, Albertville 1992 and Lillehammer 1994). They all chatted with the many children who were present. Many thanks to them!

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