August 29, 2016
Before the Rio Games even started, the IOC took important decisions about the future of the Youth Olympic Games during its annual Session. The IOC members accepted to move forward with a Youth Olympic Games’ expansion strategy, which main objectives are to increase the quality of elite competitions as well as broadening the impact of Games on youth communities worldwide. The reaffirmation of these objectives is great news for Lausanne 2020 for whom one of the objectives is to create a platform for testing new innovative solutions for the future of the Olympic Games.
Rio 2016 has also given us the opportunity to feel the emotions of the Games and the enthusiasm they bring to all participants. Athletes, volunteers and spectators were all overwhelmed by the emotions that such an event can create. Witnessing the great passion people have for the Olympism is extremely motivating for me and for all the people involved in the organisation of Lausanne 2020.
An image that I’ve taken back with me from Rio is the athletes planting tree seeds during the opening ceremony. This is what the Games should also be about: showing that together, if we act responsibly, we can guarantee a healthier and better future for the next generations. The Olympic Values are at the core of this message: Respect for yourself, for others and for the environment. Friendship, between people from different cultures. And Excellence, by always giving our best in everything we do, regardless of our abilities.
With the Youth Olympic Games in 2020, we want to keep on carrying this message to the youth of Switzerland and the world. Our young people are our future and it is our duty to show them that by respecting these values, we will be able to build a better world.
For 2020, we should get inspired by the festive mind set of Brazilians to create an unforgettable event in our country. We want to show that in Switzerland, we are also able to get together and welcome the world in a joyful environment while promoting our know-how in terms of innovation and education and using our great sense of hospitality.
See you soon and… obrigado Rio!
CEO, Lausanne 2020 Organising Committee
From YOG to Rio 2016
Switzerland has proudly sent to Rio its biggest athletes’ delegation in the past 25 years. A total of 109 Swiss athletes were selected. This is the proof that Swiss sport is in good health. The other good news is that 10 of them previously took part in the Summer Youth Olympic Games, whether in Singapore 2010 or in Nanjing 2014.
Overall, no less than 500 athletes who had previously taken part in the Youth Olympic Games have participated in the Olympic Games in Rio, winning many medals. As a comparison, there were only 193 athletes at the London Olympic Games in 2012 that had previously participated in the YOG.
Those numbers show that the strategy of the IOC works and that the Youth Olympic Games are becoming more and more important. This will even be reinforced in the near future following the decisions made by the IOC concerning the further development of the Youth Olympic Games. One of the decisions made is to strengthen the competitive aspect of elite sport in the Youth Olympic Games making them even more relevant for the International Federations and the National Olympic committees. Another good news for the spectators is that they will be guaranteed to always see the very best athletes in their age category competing during the Youth Olympic Games.
Isabelle Bossi, Chef de Mission for the Youth Olympic Games declared: “For the young athletes, taking part in the Youth Olympic Games gives them a real taste of the Olympic Games which is extremely beneficial to build up their career. Having the capacity to handle the pressure of such a big international event cannot be taught, one has to live it to understand what it represents. In this context, taking part in the Youth Olympic Games is the ideal preparation for the Olympic Games.”
We are already looking forward to following the career path of the 48 athletes of the Swiss delegation that went to Lillehammer 2016 as they keep on working hard to fulfil their dream to take part in the Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang in 2018… Hopp Schwyz! Allez la Suisse!
Interview: Sarah Hornung, Shooting
"A chance that every young athlete should try to embrace!"
Sarah Hornung is a young 20 years old Swiss athlete in shooting living in Bern. Throughout her young career, she has notably won the Gold medal at the 10m air rifle event at the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing in 2014. She participated in the Olympic Games in Rio in the same category. She shares her experience as a former YOG athlete competing now amongst the elite in the senior category.
Sarah, how would you describe your first Olympic Games here in Rio?
It has been a fantastic experience even if I am a little bit disappointed with the result, my objective was to qualify for the final by being among the best eight, and then everything would have been possible. Unfortunately, during the competition, I have not been able to reach the same level that I had during the last practice sessions. I know that I am able to be better and it motivates for the future. I am grateful to have had the chance to take part in the Games, it will remain the highlight of my young career so far. I will do anything possible to compete again in four years and why not fighting for a medal. I look into the future and I can only see the positive from this extraordinary Olympic experience.
You had previously won the gold medal at the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, how has this experience prepared you for the Olympic Games?
The Olympic Games are like no other competition, whether it is the Games in Rio or the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, nothing can really prepare you to such an atmosphere. That being said, taking part in the Youth Olympic Games helped me to get used, as much as it could, to such a big international event. It is not every day that we get the chance to represent our country with the media all over the place. In that way, the Youth Olympic Games helped me a lot to handle that pressure. I think that having the chance to participate in the Youth Olympic Games and to follow the educative program that is designed to help us cope with what surrounds elite sport competition is a chance that every young athlete should try to embrace.
Personally, if you should point out one lesson from the Youth Olympic Games, what would it be?
The whole experience at the Youth Olympic Games has been incredible for me, and even more because I won the gold medal. Generally speaking, I think that the Youth Olympic Games helped me grow as an athlete of course but also as a human being. For many athletes, the Youth Olympic Games is the first high level international competition. It is fascinating and very motivating, it makes us realise why we put so much effort every day to become always better in our sport.
Beyond all that, the Games bring emotions that are very difficult to explain and to describe without living them from the inside. Personally, I have caught the virus of the Games in Nanjing and I will keep fighting and giving my best every day to have the chance to experience those feelings as many times as possible during my career.
According to you, what impacts can have the Youth Olympic Games on sports in our country?
I think that the Youth Olympic Games in Switzerland will motivate the youth to be more active and to practice sport even more. Talking about my own experience, one of the strengths of the Olympic Games is to put not so popular sports in the spotlight. It is a chance for these sports to make a name for themselves and to get more attention from the media. Watching these competitions live or on TV can also motivate people to try new sports.
Generally speaking, the Youth Olympic Games in Switzerland should put sport back as a core priority at school and encourage the youth to get involved in clubs. I think that the Games will help boost sports in the whole country and not only in Lausanne. I have lived them from the inside and I can tell that the Youth Olympic Games will have an impact on a national level and will bring the people all together to celebrate sport.
What would be your advice to young athletes who will take part for the first time in the Olympic Games?
Enjoy every moment of it, the Games are exceptional. I wish every athlete to have the chance to experience it at least once in their careers. It is worth all the efforts to get there. The advice I could give them would be to believe in their dreams and to work as hard as possible to accomplish them. Mentally, I don’t think that we can be prepared to handle the pressure of representing our country at the Olympic Games, but one should try not to think about that and give everything not to have any regrets afterwards. Personally, I know that I still have a long way to go but I am highly motivated to work as hard as I can to come back even stronger in Tokyo in 4 years.
Euro 2016 - Lausanne was part of the celebrations in the Fan Zone in Ouchy
Lausanne 2020 was on site at the fan zone in Ouchy during the entire championships. If you had the chance to be there, you must have noticed the exciting promotional clip about the Youth Olympic Games that was aired before and after each matches, as well as during half-time. “See you in January 2020!”
August 12, 2016 - Rio
Let’s Chill in Rio
The city of Lausanne and the State of Vaud organised their now traditional reception at the House of Switzerland during the Games. As the Olympic Capital and the future host of the Youth Olympic Games, it was the opportunity for the city and the region to reinforce their relationship with the Olympic Movement and the international sports world. The delegation included among others the new Mayor of Lausanne Grégoire Junod, City Council Member Oscar Tosato, State Councillors Philippe Leuba and Pascal Broulis, the City’s Head of Sport Patrice Iseli, the State’s Head of Sports Nicolas Imhof, as well as the President of Lausanne 2020 and IOC member Patrick Baumann. Among the 325 guests, the delegation had the chance to welcome as special guests IOC President Thomas Bach and Swiss Federal Counsellor Guy Parmelin. It can be said that the Let’s Chill in Rio reception was a huge success.
August 24, 2016 - Prémanon (FRA)
Franco-Swiss working session!
In January 2020, Ski Jumping, Biathlon and Nordic Combined competitions will take place in nearby France, in Premanon, at the Tuffes stadium. Both sides of the border already have had a series of meetings in order to establish the international coordination which will be necessary to guarantee a smooth organization on two different territories. This last Wednesday, the French delegation was led by Mr. le Préfet du Jura Jacques Quastana. Around Lausanne 2020’s CEO Ian Logan, the Swiss delegation was made of representatives of the State of Vaud, Swiss Olympic and Swiss Ski.
August 25, 2016 - Lausanne
Lausanne 2020 at Athletissima 2016!
Lausanne 2020 has actively taken part in the 2016 edition of Athletissima, the annual Diamond League meet in the heart of the Olympic Capital. In order to promote the Youth Olympic Games, Lausanne 2020 presented its project to spectators and athletes alike. They all had the opportunity to hear the latest about the organising process. A game was also organised where the participants had to guess the location of the various 2020 competition sites to win a beautiful Lausanne 2020 snow hat!
June 30, 2016
Swiss Olympic intends to work together with the Youth Games Organising Committee in order to use this event to further promote the Olympic values of respect, friendship and excellence. Together with our national federations, sports clubs as well as schools, we will take full advantage of the organisation of these Games in our country.
We are living in an era where sport is often talked about negatively in the media. The Youth Olympic Games have thus become even more relevant, as they constitute an opportunity to transmit the positive values of sport to our youth. As leaders in sport we have to do everything we can to encourage the next generation to practice sport, to manage it and to promote it in the most ethical way.
On the sporting side, the Games could be a catalyst for our young talents looking to become the next generation of elite Swiss athletes. But the Games also constitute the opportunity to put sport back in the hearts of the youth, to encourage them to practice sport more often and, in general, to be more active.
We are happy to create, with the Lausanne 2020 team, a positive national vibe around the values of sport and Olympism in order to guarantee a strong development of sport in our country.
President, Swiss Olympic
Aline Danioth: “I am very grateful to the Youth Olympic Games”
Aline Danioth is one of Switzerland’s greatest talents in alpine skiing. Born in Andermatt in 1998, Aline has so many wins under belt that she is no longer counting her titles. Last February, she won no less than 4 medals at the Winter Youth Olympic Games in Lillehammer, including two gold. A few days later, she was crowned junior World Champion in Alpine Combined, and as if it wasn’t enough, she won her first elite Swiss title in Giant Slalom, ahead of the experienced Wendy Holdener.
Aline, first of all, congratulations on your amazing season. In Lillehammer, how did you deal with this sudden Olympic fame?
It was very special. The Games have a very particular vibe that I had never experienced before. It is true that the media attention is quite important, and I was in high demand. But I learnt a lot through this experience! This is the purpose of the YOGs and for this, I am really grateful.
Looking back a few months, what impact do you think the Youth Games will have had on your career?
The Youth Games prepare us to handle many aspects that we will face in the future, should we decide to pursue a career in sport. This includes items such as experiencing the organisation of a big competition, it is a very special environment and we are at the heart of a delegation of more than 70 countries. The festive spirit around the event is quite special, but even more so are all the opportunities to meet athlete ambassadors, the stars who share their experience with us. Workshops on prevention against doping, against the dangers that we can encounter during our career, everything was so interesting. I am sad that I will not be able to participate as an athlete in Lausanne!
How do you think the Youth Olympic Games in Lausanne in 2020 will influence sport in Switzerland?
I think a big international competition for the youth like this one has to show the Swiss population that sport can be a fantastic party and that it can transmit positive values. We hear a lot of bad things about sport these days, so the Youth Olympic Games constitute a unique opportunity to show the real face of sport, the one we get to experience every day. If we are able to change this perception in our country, we will have already accomplished a lot!
You are also part of the national Swiss Team, how do you think elite sport can also benefit from the Games?
The Youth Games teach us many things. They give us the opportunity to perform better, on and off the slopes. This makes us stronger. It is therefore very positive for the continuation of our careers.
Last question, are you familiar with Lausanne and the Canton de Vaud? How do you imagine the Games there?
Unfortunately, I did not have the opportunity to visit the Canton de Vaud yet. However, as they will be the host of the Youth Olympic Games, I would very much enjoy visiting Lausanne and its surroundings; especially the ski resorts located in the Swiss Alps. I can’t wait!.
June 14, 2016
The bidding committee closes its books with a positive balance
The members of the Lausanne 2020 Candidature Association unanimously voted to dissolve the Association during its General Assembly. The goal of the Association - to have Lausanne awarded the Youth Olympic Games in Kuala Lumpur on July 31, 2015 - had been attained. This was not the only good news of the day, as the accounts presented a positive balance of CHF145’000. Following a decision made by the City of Lausanne and the State Council, this sum would be given to the Lausanne 2020 Organising Committee with the purpose of financial continuity.
June 16, 2016
Lausanne 2020 is introduced to Vaud Tourism!
On June 16, Lausanne 2020 presented its project to the members of Vaud Tourism during the General Assembly of the Vaud Tourism Office. It was a unique opportunity for Lausanne 2020 to outline potential prospects the YOG would bring to the promotion of the Vaud region internationally, especially regarding the intention of bringing new tourists to the mountains and on the shores of Lake Geneva before, during and after 2020.
June 7, 2016
The heads of sport of the 26 Swiss Cantons welcome Lausanne 2020
On June 7, Lausanne 2020 participated in the summer conference of the heads of sport from the 26 Swiss Cantons in Soleure (SO). In its objective of bringing all of Switzerland together to support the Games, Lausanne 2020 took this opportunity to reflect on ideas for sport programmes that could be developed on a national level in schools, clubs and associations. After the presentation, a specific workshop on the Games themselves was organised, which gave further opportunity to develop innovative ideas. More on this to come!
June 3, 2016
In Tokyo, for the Olympic synergies
On June 3, an event organised by the AISTS (MAS in Sport Administration of the Universities of Lausanne, Geneva and the EPFL in Lausanne) was held at the Swiss Embassy. Representatives from the Japanese sport industry led by the Tokyo 2020 Games organisers met with representatives of the Swiss sport industry - including Lausanne 2020. With both Olympic events being organised in the same year, it is a natural fit for both entities to look at potential synergies giving both countries the opportunity to make Olympism shine all around the world while bringing together their technological, economical and sport assets.
Lausanne 2020 visits Swiss Olympic
Swiss Olympic, the organisation governing Swiss sport based in Ittigen (BE), has extended a permanent invitation to Lausanne 2020 to present the progress of the Games during each of its executive committees. Given this invitation, the first meeting was held on June 22. The objective was to put in place a strong collaboration between the two organisations in order to plan projects from which Swiss sport can benefit from. The Games will have an unprecedented stimulating effect for the activities of Swiss Olympic, particularly in the promotion of the fundamental and positive values of Olympism and sport.
Sporting venues: we now have a better idea!
The Lausanne 2020 team is currently working to develop its plan for the organisation of the sport competitions in 2020. No change has been brought to the original plan that was submitted to the IOC during the candidature phase, but Lausanne 2020 now need to detail the plans and have them validated by the national and international federations, as well as the IOC. In this sense, the host regions are currently preparing an inventory of the current state of the competition venues in order to have them reviewed by the governing bodies. Lausanne 2020 needs to find the right balance between the needs of the various actors so that everyone can benefit from the organisation of the Games in the region.
May 24, 2016
Lausanne 2020 should be able to bring together the whole region and, let’s be ambitious, the whole country behind the same project. And this is not just any project! The Youth Olympic Games are much more than a ten-day sport competition, they are a unique opportunity to reach ambitious objectives for our youth who are our future and our talents of tomorrow. Let’s think big, let’s be ambitious and let’s develop national sport programmes based on the Olympic Values. It starts now and it will benefit generations to come.
We need to take advantage of the assets of our country, Switzerland. We can count on an extraordinary pool of very talented and ambitious youth, no matter their schooling, from apprentices to academics or if they are making their first steps in the professional world. We need to find a way to integrate all our youth in the Games and make their countless ideas flourish. This is one of our objectives for the Youth Games: organise Olympic Games for the youth, by the youth. The reflection behind the Games should be new, using innovation to promote fundamentals values of sport, the Olympic Values.
In order to reach our objectives, we need to involve all the stakeholders of Lausanne 2020. We will need the support of our National Olympic Committee, Swiss Olympic, of the winter as well as summer sport federations and of the sport’s club across Switzerland to put in place new programmes to leverage on the opportunities offered by the Games. We will also need the support of the public sector in order to reach the schools and to promote physical activities among the youth. We need to spread the Olympic values of respect, friendship and excellence, which are essential for the development of a healthy and social lifestyle.
We have now a little bit less than four years to build a great enthusiasm around Lausanne 2020, to create an exceptional event and to organise it in a new way that it will have the power to unite and to leave a mark in Swiss and Olympic history. Our next short term objective is the presentation in front of the IOC of our strategic and operational roadmap next October. What are the Games that we want? How do we want to put them in place? The answers of all those questions will be in this document on which we are already working hard.
I am pleased to share with you, through those few lines, the progress of the project in the next weeks, months and years to come.
Let’s get to work and, together, let our dreams come true!
CEO, Lausanne 2020 organising Committee
Lessons learned from Lillehammer 2016
The last edition of the Youth Olympic Winter Games, before Lausanne 2020, took place in Lillehammer last February from the 12 to 21. On this special occasion, a big delegation from Lausanne and the State of Vaud travelled to the city of Lillehammer to meet and exchange ideas with the Local Organising Committee and also to soak up the Youth Olympic Games’ atmosphere. The lessons learned from this field trip will be a founding element of the strategy of Lausanne 2020.
The delegation was composed of representatives from the academic world including the University of Lausanne and the EPFL, as well as the security departments of the city of Lausanne and the State of Vaud with the Commanders in Chief of the Lausanne and Vaud Police, the Transport departments, and also representatives from the different regions involved in the organisation of the Games. It was an important learning opportunity for our key partners to have the chance go to Lillehammer to look and listen and especially to experience the event from the inside as to better anticipate what awaits Lausanne in 2020.
The team of about twenty people took part in the observer programme organised by the IOC. The objective was to give the opportunity to the next organising committee to see what the event is all about, and for them to clearly understand what they should expect from the event and what are the implication for them in terms of organisation and infrastructure. The delegation also had the chance to meet and exchange ideas with the organisers of Lillehammer 2016 regarding the “learn & share” programme in order to understand how they involved their population and particularly the youth in the project.
The programme prepared by the IOC was very thorough, including a lot of site visits of the competition venues, the Olympic Village and many other important sites for the smooth running of the event. From the transport centre to the security centre of the police, the delegation had the opportunity to extensively discover the backstage of the Youth Olympic Winter Games.
They also had the chance to meet the organising committee of Lillehammer 2016, with whom they were able to exchange and learn from. This allowed the Lausanne representatives to bring back crucial information and develop ideas for the organisation of the Games in Lausanne in 2020.
Of course, the delegation also had the chance to watch the sport competition and to enjoy the great results of the young Swiss athletes taking part in the Games.
Swiss Olympic sent 48 athletes to Lillehammer - and the team was particularly successful as they won no less than 12 medals - 5 gold, 3 silver and 4 bronze. The Swiss Olympic Youth Team performed even better than during the first Youth Olympic Games in Innsbruck where they won 9 medals. Special congratulations to the young and very promising Aline Danioth who won 4 medals in alpine skiing. The young star from Uri won the gold in Combined and in Slalom as well as the bronze in Super-G and Giant Slalom. Melanie Maillard from Valais also stood out by winning the gold in Giant Slalom and the silver in Combined. Like their teammates, the two skiers enjoyed a great team spirit among the Swiss Olympic Youth Team. “The team spirit in the delegation was as exceptional as the sporting results”, noted Isabelle Bossi, Chef de Mission for Switzerland. “At almost every competition, the members of the Swiss team were cheering for their teammates to encourage them to give their best. Obviously winning medals are always the highlights, but it is overwhelming to see the team cheering for each other and trying to motivate themselves among the team. This is also what makes the YOG so special. We could feel that we were not only 48 individuals but we were a team representing its country.”
In addition to the sports performance and the opportunity to rub shoulders with the world's best in their class, it is important to mention the humanistic experience that all these young athletes had the opportunity to live. For some, these Games were the first international competition bringing together so many people in the same place at the same time, which will remain forever engraved in their memory.
Through the "Learn & Share" program designed by the IOC, these young athletes had the chance to take part in many extra sporting activities that would help them open their eyes to the enormous opportunities opening up for their future in and outside of the sports world. The Youth Games are the perfect place to promote the Olympic values to the youth of the world through various and rich activities. The "Learn & Share" program is a wonderful tool to allow young people to learn new things, exchange experiences with other young people of their age from around the world and to grow as an athlete and as a person.
The proposed activities were varied, including nutrition courses with certified nutritionists, media prep courses to teach the athletes how to handle media requests and many activities aimed at raising awareness on current issues athletes might face while promoting the Olympic values. The topics of solidarity, environmental protection, anti-doping and prevention against injury and other kinds of physical and mental damage that elite sport can lead to were discussed throughout the 14 days of competition that lasted the Youth Games in Lillehammer.
The combination of high-level sport competition, the program "Learn & Share" and the international environment have enabled these young people to compete with the best athletes in the world but also to provide them with tools that will be useful for their future.
The sharing and the exchange must be at the heart of Lausanne 2020, and this will be our main challenge: create the sharing opportunities and promote exchanges not only among the athletes, but also with the Swiss population. The goal of Lausanne 2020 is not only to organise an international sporting event, it is also to organise a big festival. These two aspects must co-exist in a new and innovative model for the future of sport and the Olympic Movement.
Those are the main lessons of Lillehammer: being able to bring the country together behind an international project for our youth and promoting fundamental and positive values conveyed through sport is the key to success for the Youth Games to leave a lasting legacy and mark memories for generations to come.
A magnificent challenge - don’t you think? So let’s get to work!
For the official photos of Lillehammer 2016, all taken by young students in journalism and photography, please visit www.yogphotos.com
Photo: The Swiss athletes in Lillehammer
May 2, 2016
Green light for the new Malley sport centre!
The project for the new sport centre in Malley has been released for public enquiry in the municipalities of Rennens and Vevey.
The construction plans have been approved by all parties. This is a great news and a show of support from the community in keeping because the deadlines, that should allowed the new ice rinks to be ready and usable for the Youth Games, are respected.
Photo: The new Malley
April 30, 2016
Presentation at the “Association Suisse d’Education Physique à l’Ecole (ASEP)”
One of the main activities of the Lausanne 2020 core organising team is to present the Youth Games to many associations, clubs and businesses. For example, Lausanne 2020, represented by Cosima Deluermoz who is the special delegate for International Sport at the State of Vaud, recently had the opportunity to present the Games at the general assembly of the ASEP. The objective of this presentation was explore new opportunities on how to leverage the Youth Games and how to use them to develop new sport programmes and teach the Olympic Values at school to engage the youth.
April 27, 2016
Members of the Youth Council arrive at the Olympic Museum!
Around twenty young members of the Youth Council gathered at the Olympic Museum in Lausanne to discuss important issues with the Lausanne 2020 Organising Committee. The young members had the opportunity to discuss many different topics such as the celebrations around the Games, the impact of the Games on both the elite sport and the mass participation sport, the social media activation and even think about the best way to engage the whole country behind the Youth Games. The organising committee now has the task of examining all the ideas proposed and ways of implementing as many as possible. Next meeting is scheduled for September!
Photo: The members of the Youth Council at the Olympic Museum
April 17 to April 22, 2016
Lausanne 2020 in the heart of international sport
Lausanne 2020, represented by its CEO Ian Logan, actively took part in the biggest annual event in the world of international sport, the SportAccord Convention. This year’s edition took place at the Swiss Tech Convention Centre on the EPFL’s campus. Ian Logan gave a presentation during the general assembly of the Association of International Olympic Winter Sports Federations (AIOWF) about the Lausanne 2020 project and highlighted all the milestones it had taken to date. He also participated in an on-stage debate about best practices for youth sport participation. This event was a great opportunity for Logan to meet and exchange ideas with many international sport leaders paving the way forward for interesting and useful dialogue.
Photo: The SportAccord Convention at the Swiss Tech
April 5 and April 25, 2016
Kick-off given by the International Olympic Committee (IOC)
The two first workshops, which took place at the temporary IOC headquarters in Pully, kicked off the beginning of the working relationship between the IOC and the Lausanne 2020 Organising Committee (“YOGOC”). During those workshops, Lausanne had the opportunity to present an overview of the organising committee and its current achievements to date - it was also the occasion to discuss the collaboration between the IOC and the YOGOC. The IOC also provided the organising committee with interesting recommendations about the organising process itself.
Photo: The Olympic Rings in the Olympic Capital
February 2, 2015
The second edition of the Winter Youth Olympic Games will take place in Lillehammer, Norway from February 12-21, 2016. A delegation of 20 Lausanne 2020 representatives will take part in the Observer Programme organised by the Lillehammer 2016 Organising Committee in collaboration with the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
The members of delegation are drawn from diverse backgrounds and interests related to the Lausanne Games. This will ensure that each stakeholder will have the necessary tools to invest and project themselves efficiently in time for 2020. Thus, we can, among others, rely on the participation of political, university (UNIL) and selected host station representatives, as well as representatives from the transportation sector (TL).
The objective of the trip is simple - to learn as much as possible and to come back with suitcases full of ideas and motivation to energise the Winter Youth Olympic Games in 2020. During these two weeks, the delegation will have the opportunity to observe and discuss with the Lillehammer 2016 Organising Committee. This trip will also be an opportunity for the Lausanne 2020 team to enhance its relationship with the IOC; not only its members, but also its staff with whom Lausanne 2020 wishes to work in close collaboration to make these Games an important tool in spreading the Olympic values.
While we said it in Kuala Lumpur, it is even truer today: now this is where it starts!
See you soon!
President, Lausanne 2020 Organising Committee
“Together, let’s make History!”
Ian Logan, the recently appointed CEO of the Lausanne 2020 Organising Committee, shares with us his priorities, his ambitions and even his dreams for Lausanne 2020.
The Lausanne 2020 project that was described in the bid file has been extremely well received by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). What elements of the bid will you remember and which are you looking forward to developing further?
The bid committee has performed an outstanding job. Following discussions with the IOC, it was made clear to us that the alignment between the Youth Games concept as envisioned by the IOC and that envisioned by the Lausanne 2020 project was what sealed such a comprehensive win. The bid committee succeeded in creating a clear match between these two. The IOC has the ambition to transmit the fundamental values of Olympism - respect, friendship and excellence - through the Games, placing education at the centre of this message. They want to illustrate to the youth of the world that they can enjoy a career in sport, not only on but also off the field. Lausanne is perfectly suited to help do this. Lausanne boasts 100 years of common history and shared values with the Olympic Movement, it remains the hub of international sport management and is home to universities reknowned thoughout the world for their educational and developmental expertise. These elements will form the basis of a rich, innovative and fun culture and education programme for the athletes in 2020, as well as for all the youth of our country during the preceeding years.
The bid file paid close attention to these aspects. I now want to engage with them in depth and workd hard to unite both the Swiss population and the sport sector here. The event must create memories. To do this it needs to have an impact for the youth and for sport generally. However, it also needs to be a cultural festival, not only in Lausanne, but across the whole country. This is a very ambitious vision but I believe we can and will make it happen.
The opening ceremony of the Games will be in exactly four years. What are your current priorities and, in your opinion, what are the traps to be avoided?
My first priority is to take a step back to gain a broad, comprehensive overview of the entire project. This will allow me lead it with vision and ambition. In concrete terms, this means observing and listening to all stakeholders; the IOC, Swiss Olympic, the City of Lausanne, the State of Vaud, the host ski-resorts where the competitions will take place, as well as the Committee executive board members. Opening dialogues with as many stakeholders as possible, as early as possible will enable us to to reveal the magic of the Youth Games - a unique event which unite all. This will also include benefiting from the experience of our friends from Norway and we will be visiting Lillehammer for the 2016 Youth Games at the beginning of February.
My second priotity is to start building my “core” team. This unit will take on their full responsibilities after bein finalised in 2017 and will oversee the delivery of the event. I want this team to work with me from the beginning. This will allow us to move seamlessly from what we outlined in the bid book and translate it into a road map for delivery, complete with various projects milestones. The biggest trap would be to jump in too quickly and start organising the event without having thought before about what we want to do - and what we don’t want to do.
How do you think these Games could shine thoughout all of Switzerland so that their impacts are not limited to Lausanne and the surrounding region?
I think this is one of our biggest challenges. We have to work hard to convince the entire Swiss population that these Games are a unique opportunity for everyone. Indeed, they represent an outstanding chance to make our country shine abroad. It has been more than 70 years since we have hosted an Olympic Games! But this will not be easy. We have to develop national projects targeting both Swiss youth and Swiss sport generally. We also have to count on the support from Swiss Olympic, the Federal Department of Sport (OFPSO), national sports federations as well as our national partners. We will not succeed alone. That is why it is important to involve every stakeholder from the very beginning.
Currently the Chief of Military Air traffic Management, you will soon be devoting yourself 100% to Lausanne 2020. What assets from your military experience can you bring to an Olympic project such as Lausanne 2020?
On a general level, the army is part of the same department as sport, specifically the Federal Department of Defence,Civil Protection and Sport (DDPS). There are therefore many ways that the army could support the Lausanne 2020 project. I can already see huge logistical, transport and security sharing and synergies being brought to the organising of the event.
In regards to my personal experience, I am lucky in that I have been specially trained in the delivery of large scale projects. For instance, I lead the organising committees of major events such as the AIR04 and AIR14 Air Championships. This has given me a depth of knowledge in organisational and logistical issues as well as an extensive national network of individual experts in event delivery.
My objective is therefore to apply my unique experience and network to the delivery of the Youth Olympic Games. This project that means a huge amount to me because it represents an opportunity to be a vehicle for the Olympic Values which I believe are indispensable to a healthy life. Respect of oneself, of each other, of the environment. Friendship between different populations and between different cultures. Excellence in always giving ones best in any situation. Just imagine these values have been central to the Olympic movement for over than 100 years. But they arguably more topical today than ever before.
You are the father of 5 kids. Lausanne 2020 is a project for the youth. Will you draw inspiration from your kids to build an event that will connect with them in 2020?
Of course! We all love and practice sport! This is a real chance to make a meaningful connection with the youth of tomorrow. I have already started asking the kids and their friends questions in this area. I have asked what they were expecting from a project such as Lausanne 2020; what we could do so that they can benefit from the impact of these Games even if not participating as an athlete. Youth is a true source of inspiration and I will make the most of the research methods at my disposal! I am hugely drawn to their enthusiasm and their ability to express themselves through new and exciting mediums, such as social networks in particular. They represent the future - tomorrow’s talent. It is therefore our responsibility to think about the best way to integrate them directly into our project. This is equally true whether it is within the organisation committee or within the various activities related to the event.
Finally, tell us what your most ambitious dream for Lausanne 2020 in a perfect world would look like?
My most ambitious dream would be to successfully unite Switzerland as a whole in the promotion of the values of the Olympic movement before, during and after the Games. To do so, we will have worked closely with all our partners. Together with them we will have helped to define what the Youth Olympic Games in Lausanne will represent locally, nationally and internationally. Thanks to these Games, we will have shone a light on changes desired by the youth itself, particularly in regards to the environment and the various problems that it faces.
In short, we will have managed to take this incredible opportunity that the Games represent. We will have delivered an unforgettable project which promotes Switzerland internationally, energises and unites the Swiss population and inspires the youth of tomorrow to build a better world. Clearly, together, we will transformed the history of our region and our country!
But enough dreaming... we must now work hard together to make these dreams a reality!
Photo: Ian Logan, CEO, Lausanne 2020 Organising Committee
A promising Swiss curling athlete with big dreams
Meet Selina Witschonke: a 15 years old curling athlete who will take part, together with 47 other swiss athletes, in the 2016 Winter Youth Olympic Games in Lillehammer, Norway.
Selina, we are eager to know more about you. Could you please tell us a bit more about why you started playing curling and why you love your sport so much?
I started playing curling when I was 9 years old. My parents, who used to be curling players, enrolled me in my first curling classes. At the beginning, I was just playing for fun. After several years of training, I saw my level increasing and I had the opportunity to compete against very talented players. I therefore found the game more and more interesting and decided to train more. I now spend 6 hours a week on the ice and 3 hours working on fitness. Curling is a very special sport. Although it is not hugely popular, it is a sport that is full of surprises and this is perhaps why I love it so much. One of the sport’s biggest challenges is to find the right path in tactical decisions as well as to portion your strength throughout the whole game. Tactics are therefore more important than strength. As a result, no two curling games look alike. It is a sport that is far from being boring, as some might think!
Why are you dreaming of participating into the Youth Olympic Games?
It is a hard feeling to describe as it is highly emotional. It is mixture of pride, accomplishment and opportunity. I say “pride” because it would be the first time in my young career that I have the chance to defend the colours of my country. It reminds me of all the sacrifices I make every day to become a better player. This hard work does not only apply to me. My entire entourage also makes considerable effort and sacrifices. My family, friends and my coach are supporting me in every decision I take. Going to Lillehammer would be my way of thanking them for their strong support. Finally, it would represent an outstanding opportunity to have fun in competing against very talented players, make new friends and learn something new!
How can the Youth Olympic Games help you become who you want to be?
I am quite young and I am still trying to identify what I want to do in life. But one thing is certain - I want to give myself a chance to become a professional curling player. Like any elite athlete, my objective is to go to the Olympic Games. If I were selected to participate in the Youth Olympic Games in Lillehammer, it would definitely help me in making this goal more concrete. Not only would I gain some valuable experience, this would also provide me with the opportunity to meet with young people from around the world. I would have the chance to discover new cultures, speak different languages, make new friends and open my mind to new things. In short, it would make me grow both as an athlete and a person!
How can Lausanne 2020 contribute to developing sport in Switzerland?
Hosting the Winter Youth Olympic Games is a fantastic opportunity for Switzerland! It is a very special event in that it is connected to the Olympic Rings. Because they can generate so many emotions, the Olympic Rings have the power to inspire everyone and this is especially the case for my generation. The Games in Switzerland will make this real and 2020 will definitely be “the Year of Sport” in Switzerland. But apart from the “inspirational” factor of the Games, there are many things that can be done to encourage the youth to be more active and committed to sport. I believe schools can play an important role since the practice of sport is linked to education. I am convinced the Games can serve as a catalyst to further develop sport in Switzerland!
Have you ever been to Lausanne and the Canton de Vaud? How do you imagine the Games there?
Yes, I have! I once participated in a championship at the Lausanne Curling Centre. Even if I did not have too much time to visit the city and the region, I still had a chance to visit the Olympic Museum which was located within walking distance of the championship site. I think this is one of Lausanne’s unique advantage. No other city in the world is more “Olympic” than Lausanne. Because the headquarters of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and so many International Federations are based in Lausanne, it is a very inspiring city for a young athlete like me. I hope Lausanne 2020 will succeed in transmitting this feeling to the young competitors of the Winter Youth Olympic Games in 2020!
Do you have a “motto” that motivates you in always pushing yourself harder?
Who fights can lose, who doesn't fight has already lost.
Photo: Selina Witschonke, Swiss Curling Athlete
Interview with Danka Bartekova, Chair of the IOC’s Lausanne 2020 Coordination Commission
Today, we ask a few questions to Danka Bartekova (SLO), 31 years old, Chair of the IOC’s Coordination Commission for Lausanne 2020, bronze medalist in London 2012 in shooting (skeet). The role of the Coordination Commission will be to assist the organizing committee in delivering the event, using the input from previous hosts while making sure that the Games are fully aligned with the IOC’s objectives.
Danka, first of all, congratulations on your nomination as the head of the IOC Coordination Commission for Lausanne 2020. We are delighted to start working with you and your team!
Thank you very much! I am really excited to join Lausanne 2020. I feel honored to chair the Coordination Commission and help the Organizing Committee to organize the Winter Youth Olympic Games in the Olympic Capital! For me as an athlete from summer sports it’s quite a challenge but I’m ready to take it! Can’t wait to meet the whole team soon!
First question: you were already part of the Evaluation Commission for the 2020 YOG during the bid phase. What were the key strengths of the Lausanne 2020 project that you are now particularly excited to see being put in place?
Lausanne 2020 prepared a very youth-oriented, fresh and energetic project, but yet sustainable one. I think one of the biggest strengths is the involvement of the local universities and scientific-oriented “Learn and Share” activities, as well as the fact that Lausanne is the home of many International Federations, sport organisations and of course the International Olympic Committee. I think the athletes and all the participants have a lot to look forward to in 2020!
In your opinion, what are the objectives that the Youth Olympic Games must achieve for the good of the Olympic Movement - and how do you think they should proceed to meet them?
The Youth Olympic Games are designed to combine sport, culture and education and to serve as a catalyst for the young generation to get active and enjoy sport. We want to spread the values of sport and Olympism through competition as well as the time spent off the field of play. Youth Olympic Games should inspire participants, spectators and youth of the nation - but not to forget the young fans all over the world. With this being kept in mind and using the newest technology, science and sports-like nature of the city, I think Lausanne 2020 will develop great Winter Youth Olympic Games.
What do you think the Youth Olympic Games represent in an athlete’s career - and which elements should the Games offer to ensure the biggest impacts for the athletes?
For many young athletes, the Youth Olympic Games are the first experience with a multi-sport event and for majority of them it could even be the last one. It could