A few days ago, we passed a symbolic but important milestone in the organisation of Lausanne 2020: 1’000 days before the Opening Ceremony. This milestone made me reflect on two things. Firstly, all that we have achieved since 31st July, 2015, when Lausanne was selected by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as the host city for the next Winter Youth Olympic Games; and secondly, what we still need to deliver before 10th January, 2020.
We have said it from the beginning: Lausanne 2020 has to be a project organised with the youth of our country, for the youth of our country. We have recently submitted the Games Foundation Plan to the IOC, the roadmap that will lead us to the Games in 2020. This important document contains a comprehensive plan for sporting, educational and cultural legacy which will define our working frame. The Plan will also highlight the incredible competences of our region in terms of education, hospitality as well as management and the science of sports.
On this note, the collaboration that we have initiated with the schools of Vaud makes us very happy, as it is a fundamental part of the educational aspect of the event. A similar activation on the national level is currently being considered. Similarly, we are working intensively with the University of Lausanne and the EPFL, and collaborate with many Swiss universities who will contribute to anchor the event in the Swiss education system. We want these Games to promote the Swiss way of leaning through experience, which is admired all around the world.
Additionally, we are currently putting in place the basis of the sporting legacy of the Games throughout the region. We are already very confident that these Games will leave a very positive mark on the development of our young athletes. For example, we are very happy to announce that our national skiing federation – Swiss Ski – recently confirmed that the Diablerets will become an official training centre for Swiss grassroots in downhill skiing, whilst Leysin which will become an official training centre in freestyle skiing. A regional performance centre for cross-country skiing open to the public will also be created in the Vallée de Joux. And an historical agreement with France is currently being finalised which will allow the Swiss teams to use the incredible ski jump and biathlon infrastructures for 20 years. All of these initiatives have been generated or accelerated because of the organisation of the Youth Olympic Games.
This is what Lausanne 2020 is all about: to promote the extraordinary assets of our region and make them available to our youth - to create ambassadors of the values of sport, to develop talents, and to generate opportunities for tomorrow’s leaders. This is the vision that will keep guiding us over the 1’000 days to come.