Smart and sustainable solutions paving the way for Lausanne 2020
© Roger Schnegg

Two weeks after celebrating the “1 year-to-go” milestone to Lausanne 2020, the International Olympic Committee (IOC)’s Coordination Commission, of which FIS Secretary General Sarah Lewis is a member, reconvened in the Olympic capital this week to provide assistance to the local organisers on the crucial milestone.

The Coordination Commission made several venue visits, including to two of the pre-existing city projects that will be used for the YOG: the Vortex, an architecturally impressive new student accommodation complex that will be used as the athletes’ village, and the Malley ice rink, the new home for the Lausanne ice hockey club which will host the Opening Ceremony and the ice hockey competitions. Both venues are well underway and on track for delivery by November 2019.

Leysin, the Vaud Alpine resort and host of freestyle and snowboard events, was also visited, namely LeysinPark, the newly upgraded snowpark which now includes a 22-foot halfpipe and will host the world’s best freestylers and snowboarders just a year from now. The venue will be tested this coming weekend (25th-27th January) for the FIS Freeski and Snowboard Junior World Championships 2019 in halfpipe and is part of the regional plan to become a leading centre of Freestyle and Snowboard development in Switzerland.

The visit comes just ahead of the inauguration of the upgraded ski run in neighbouring Les Diablerets, which, thanks to the catalyst of the YOG, has been FIS homologated to allow it to host international events for the first time in 30 years, starting this month with the FIS Women’s Alpine Skiing European Cup.

Danka Bartekova, IOC Coordination Commission Chair, said: “We are seeing Swiss efficiency at its best through Lausanne 2020. Smart and sustainable solutions combined with innovation have been a fundamental theme in this project from the outset. With just over one year to go, we are confident that they will deliver YOG that will have a big impact on the lives of young athletes.”

Organising Committee President Virginie Faivre and former FIS Freeski three-time halfpipe World Champion said: “Switzerland is a natural habitat for winter sports, and we have kept this at the heart of our project, whether using natural resources or drawing upon Swiss expertise. We want to put the best our country has to offer in terms of innovation, education and sports to inspire our youth here, and around the world. We want to be the start of something great for them in their career, both on and off the field of play, and we were glad to be able to show this to the members of the Commission over the last three days.”

FIS Secretary General Sarah Lewis: ”During three intensive days of work with the IOC Coordination Commission in site visits and meetings we have seen the quality of the facilities that will host the 3rd Winter Youth Olympic Games in Lausanne for young athletes. The timing of the meetings with less than one year to go has focused everyone on the range of considerable tasks ahead to prepare the sport competitions, learn and share and cultural activities. 

It was with particular pleasure we could showcase “LeysinPark” in glorious conditions to the IOC Coordination Commission members as it gets ready to host the FIS FreeSki and Snowboard Junior World Championships halfpipe events this weekend”.

The Youth Olympic Games Lausanne 2020 will take place between 9th and 22nd January 2020.