A major sporting event such as the Winter Youth Olympic Games only makes sense for a host country if it intelligently integrates into the regional fabric of the host city.
For Lausanne 2020, this integration is guaranteed to be a success. From the very beginning of the organisation phase, the team in place has entered into a dialogue with the various entities that are directly affected by the organisation of the Games, whether it be the host sites, the academic or private institutions based here, or the communities at large.
Each time, the vision of Lausanne 2020 serves as a framework for all. This vision consists of transmitting the fundamental values of sport, meaning respect, friendship and excellence, to the younger generations, by using the unique assets this region possesses in terms of training, hospitality and sporting expertise. Then, within this framework, it is up to the actors on the ground to set their own objectives and consider how they will achieve them.
For the City of Lausanne, two objectives, which have been established for some time now, are considered particularly important: sustainable development, and the practice of sport for all in the heart of the city. It is also in the cultural field that the city works: with the service of culture and through a recently created position, Lausanne will be able to promote the emergence of culture through the organization of the Games and the involvement of students in multiple fields (see interview with Michael Kinzer, Head of the Culture Department or the City of Lausanne, opposite).
For the Vaud Alps, the objective is to upgrade its offer for tourists and maximise the impact that the Games will have on the visibility of the region. 50% of tourists visiting the Alps are foreigners: the Olympic rings are a unique opportunity to showcase infrastructure that will be refurbished at several sites as early as 2018 (see interview with Eric Liechti, Municipal Councillor in charge of Tourism in Les Diablerets, opposite).
At the University of Lausanne and at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale, specific programmes are being set up to highlight the research and innovation capacity of these institutions, not only targeted to the athletes and their entourages in 2020, but also to the population as a whole. At the Ecole Hôtelière, the school’s historical commitment to anchor the curriculum in the realities of the world has meant that the school is already working with its students on projects aimed at creating exceptional hospitality during the Games.
In the Vallée de Joux, it is a whole region’s desire to revitalise Nordic sports and motivate local commitment to the creation of a new training centre and cross-country trail. Just a short distance from there, in Prémanon, France, the local will is to take advantage of the Games to update the infrastructure of the national training centre for Nordic sports, in particular the ski jumping jumps. The ambition is also to create lasting cultural bridges between the young people of Romandie and the French Jura, around, for example, the recently opened Espace des Mondes Polaires, the leading cultural centre in France dedicated to the poles and the expeditions conducted there.
In St. Moritz in the canton of Graubünden, Lausanne 2020 will enable the resorts there to radiate all over the world, thanks to its historical - and Olympic - natural bobsleigh track, and through the redevelopment of its frozen lake into an open-air speed skating track. This is a unique opportunity to create new vocations for all winter sports in our country.
For Swiss sport in particular, the objective is clear: to ensure that the Youth Olympic Games have a positive effect on existing prevention, training and education programmes at Swiss Olympic and National Federations. Everywhere, opportunities are being created to ensure that young Swiss athletes can make the most of the visit of the world’s best young winter sportsmen and women, and the Olympic rings, to our great country.
For our different actors to truly own these Games, they must see it as an opportunity to accelerate useful projects, to give greater visibility to existing activities, and as a catalyst to create, build and celebrate success, together.