‘A unique opportunity to show the cultural vitality of our city.’ - Michael Kinzer, Head of the Department of Culture, City of Lausanne

Michael Kinzer, head of the City of Lausanne’s culture department since the beginning of the year, has kindly sat down with us to discuss the various opportunities that will be on offer to Lausanne residents throughout the 2020 Games.

The IOC’s conception of the Youth Olympic Games was always to create more than just a sporting competition, and placed a strong importance on highlighting the cultural aspects of sport. But how does the City of Lausanne proposed to explore this idea?

To answer this question, it is worth looking at the three pillars on which the Youth Olympic Games were founded on: competition, education and sharing, or, in the IOC’s words, “Compete, Learn & Share’. As an organising committee, while the first two aspects are relatively clear to conceptualise, the third is more open to interpretation.
For Lausanne, this aspect of sharing is intimately linked to the desire to unite our entire population around a meaningful project. This can be a very rich aspect for us as it allows us to create a real meeting place for everyone and share the artistic capacity of our city, including our young artists and our fine art schools, whether it be in music, theatre, or the scenic and visual arts. That is an extremely stimulating prospect.

Do you mainly want to speak to a local population?

The great thing about the Youth Olympic Games is that it features one of the world’s most recognised symbols - the Olympic rings – and this allows us to reach several groups of people.

We think of these three main groups in particular. First of all, it is the Lausanne residents. We want to create to create a party for them, and involve them as much as possible in the event. This engagement can and has already started. Then, there are the athletes and their entourages, who will be able to discover a city that is alive, engaged and colourful. We want them to leave with lasting memories, always remember the beautiful time they had in our city. And finally, we want to speak to the international population that will experience the Games, either here in person or watching remotely. We want to highlight the incredible aspects of Lausanne, and these Games offer a tremendous opportunity to showcase the true beauty of our city.

Can you already reveal some ideas for activities that will be implemented?

It is still early, but we are already working on it in an interdepartmental city task force. The challenge is exciting. Sport and culture have many values in common and this project is an opportunity to prove it in practice. Sport, like culture, can spark a host of intense and new emotions.
For the cultural aspect of the Games, a programme of activities will be developed around three main axes. Firstly, we plan to create of a popular project in the city centre so that the population can take ownership of the Games. The second major element will be the cultural emergence of our city, and for this we will coordinate special projects developed by our young art students in collaboration with the art schools of the region. And thirdly, we want to show the vitality of our cultural offer here in Lausanne, allowing our various cultural actors to take advantage of the unique showcase that these Games offer us.