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  • Lausanne 2020 a Blueprint for Future Games


    (ATR) Lausanne 2020 showed the way for how future Olympic events should be organized.

    Vaudoise Arena hosted 3-on-3 hockey at Lausanne 2020 (OIS)
    That is the view of Christophe Dubi, the Executive Director of the Olympic Games, who spoke with Around the Rings on Wednesday following the release of the final report on the Winter Youth Olympic Games held in Switzerland and France in January.

    Dubi says the budget surplus of CHF 400,000 ($422,904) was “not a surprise” given the detailed work done from the beginning of the project five years ago and the “financial discipline” that followed.

    “A good second reason is the fact that they have done exactly what we are asking our organizing committees to do which is to use what is existing in terms of venues, building temporaries where you don’t have the infrastructure,” Dubi says, adding that using the expertise of those who are outside the organizing committee also helped in producing “good results from a delivery standpoint and obviously also from a financial one.”

    He says the delegations for Paris 2024 and Milan-Cortina 2026 at Lausanne in January have seen in action what it means to use the existing resources and will put that knowledge to work in organizing those Games.

    The next Winter YOG in 2024 is in Gangwon Province in South Korea, which hosted the 2018 Winter Olympics. While the infrastructure is obviously in place, Dubi says getting the youth onboard early is an important part of a successful YOG.

    “What we have learned here in Lausanne is you have to start mobilizing the youth very early to have the kind of result you saw in the streets of Lausanne with really hundreds of thousands of people in the streets and into the venues,” he tells ATR.

    “It is something that has to start early working with the youth and for the youth and that really worked.”

    Lausanne 2020 closing ceremony (OIS)
    Lausanne 2020 proved popular among the Swiss public. A total of 640,000 spectators attended the events, 350,000 of which for the sports competitions alone. In Lausanne alone, the "Lausanne en Jeux! " parallel festival of sport and culture alone brought together more than 200,000 people.

    The popularity of the event, combined with the fact that it came in under budget, could help convince Swiss voters that it’s feasible to host a Winter Olympics in the future. Three potential bids in recent years have all been torpedoed by public referendums, the most recent in June 2018 when Sion’s 2026 bid was defeated. The country has not hosted an Olympics since 1948.

    The report released on Wednesday also said that Lausanne 2020 was the most successful edition of the Winter YOG in terms of online interest and coverage. There was also a significant increase in television broadcasting, with 191 territories receiving broadcasts by 73 rights holders.

    The Winter YOG was watched by an estimated audience of more than 150 million people worldwide.

    Homepage photo: OIS

    Written by Gerard Farek, with additional reporting from Ed Hula

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