Lausanne 2020 launches its “Youth Council”: a think tank for the Youth Olympic Games and for the future of Swiss sport
Lausanne, May 28, 2015 – Less than two months before the decision of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the bid of Lausanne for the 2020 Youth Olympic Games launches a new and ambitious project: a youth council consisting of Swiss elite athletes as well as students and young professionals from the region eager to contribute to the future of sport in their community and in their country.
The Lausanne 2020 youth council is a highly representative group where every member, in bringing his or her own individual experience, can add value to the proposals that Lausanne 2020 put forward to the Olympic Movement and to the municipalities set to organize the event in 2020.
On May 12, twenty young people met for the first meeting of the council. The work process is simple. First, three working groups work on three specific themes. Following this, the three groups then meet again in a plenary session where objectives and activities are discussed as a whole. The three groups consist of the following:
- “Culture & Education” group: This group is made exclusively of young swiss athletes who have already participated in an edition of the Youth Olympic Games. The function of this group is to ensure that the proposals made by Lausanne 2020 can be truly relevant for the athletes during the Games.
- “Sport development” group: This group is made exclusively of young swiss elite athletes, both in the midst of their careers or who have just recently retired. The function of this group is to focus on developing concrete proposals to enhance the status of elite sport in Switzerland, to improve the conditions in which athletes can both practice and study in the country, etc
- “Buzz” goup: This group is made of young students or young professionals who are already engaged in their city’s youth council. The function of this group is to develop ideas to make sure that the event creates a buzz in the years leading to the event, in Lausanne, in the region and in Switzerland as a whole.
One of the very first tasks given to the whole group is to find a name for the council which it could carry until 2020 – and beyond – should Lausanne 2020 be selected in July.
Denis Pittet, Secretary General of the bid committee commented “The Youth Olympic Games are, by definition, a project for the youth. To give a voice to the youth of the country was an obvious thing to do. If we succeed in convincing the IOC in July, we want these Games to be organised by the youth, for the youth. This council has a crucial role to play.”
Stéphane Lambiel, two time world champion in Figure Skating and Athlete Ambassador in Innsbruck 2012 is part of the “Sport development” group of the council. He added “When I was approached to be part of this council, I did not hesitate for one second. Through my role as an Ambassador in Innsbruck, I have seen what these Games can do, not only to the participants, but also to the host region. Today, my biggest wish is that Lausanne could offer the same opportunity to Switzerland.”
In the next two months, the members of the council will continue to develop the ideas that were already put forward during this first session. Then, should Lausanne 2020 be selected host of the Games, the group would be officially integrated in the organizing committee.
Alexia Bonelli, a young freestyle skier (half-pipe) who participated as an athlete in Innsbruck in 2012, is also a member of the “Culture and Education” group of the council. She noted “I can’t wait to see what happens on July 31st in Kuala Lumpur. I had the chance to participate in Innsbruck and I know how these Games can change a young person’s life. I hope from the bottom of my heart that other young people can live this great adventure and I would be honored to provide my experience from the inside to the organizing committee. Go Lausanne 2020!”
The pictures of this first meeting are available online in the bid’s gallery here.
For more information, please contact:
Denis Pittet, Secretary General
Lausanne 2020 bid committee
Tel: +41 79 470 88 22
Virginie Faivre, Head of “Culture & Education”
Lausanne 2020 bid comiittee
Tel: + 41 79 305 25 74Email: firstname.lastname@example.org