Lausanne - the city

More than quarter-of-a- century after officially becoming the Olympic Capital, Lausanne will become an Olympic City, as it hosts the third edition of the Winter Youth Olympic Games. At the heart of this project are the main concepts of sustainability and legacy, as well as the focus on involving youth - embodying the values of Agenda 2020, the reform process launched in 2014 by the International Olympic Committee. 

The Olympic Capital has three major assets in its favour. Lausanne has built a rich legacy of more than 100 years of history linked to the Olympic Movement. Thanks to the collaboration with 50 Federal and International Federations, it has developed a unique expertise, based on competent skills and know-how. The presence of a consequent number of well-known schools and training centres guarantees the synergy necessary for effectively incorporating the educational dimension of the Youth Olympic Games.

The city of Lausanne will be at the heart of the Games and will host the Youth Olympic Village, the ceremonies and all ice sports - ice hockey, short track speed skating and figure skating.

Curling will take place in Champéry.

The Alpine skiing, ski mountaineering, freestyle skiing and snowboard events will take place in the towns of Les Diablerets, Leysin and Villars in the Vaud Alps.

Bobsleigh, skeleton, luge and speed skating will take place in the world-famous St. Moritz.

Lausanne has officially been the Olympic Capital for more than a quarter-of-a-century but will finally become an Olympic City when it hosts the 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games ©Getty Images
Lausanne has officially been the Olympic Capital for more than a quarter-of-a-century but will finally become an Olympic City when it hosts the 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games ©Getty Images

As part of their plans to host a sustainable Games and use existing venues and facilitieis, Lausanne 2020 will incorporate the French-lying Tuffes Nordic Stadium is set to host biathlon, ski jumping and Nordic combined events.

A key part of Lausanne's plan is ensuring that Switzerland will benefit from hosting the event after it has finished.

The Vortex, being constructed to accommodate the Olympic Village, will be turned into student accommodation at the Games' conclusion. Approximately 1,200 university students and academic guests will benefit from this extra housing.

It is hoped the Games will positively impact the development of sports at regional and national levels, the project allowing Lausanne and the canton of Vaud to become catalysts and positively influence future athletic generations in Switzerland.  Through the Youth Olympic Games, Lausanne and the canton of Vaud plan to create an innovative laboratory, an incubator of ideas for youth, by youth, that will contribute to the positive memories and help enhance Olympic values for many years to come. 

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Centre Sportif de Malley SA

Centre Sportif de Malley ©Centre Sportif de Malley SA
Centre Sportif de Malley ©Centre Sportif de Malley SA

The new Centre Sportif de Malley SA is due to stage figure skating, ice hockey and short track speed skating at Lausanne 2020.

The venue, which includes a rink capable of hosting 10,000 spectators, was hailed as a key cornerstone of the Lausanne 2020 bid following its selection by an expert panel after the launch of an international architectural competition.

It will be built on the site of the former site which hosted the 1997 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships, as well as the 1990 and 2008 European Men's Artistic Gymnastics Championships.

Entitled "H20", the new project was unveiled by Lausanne-based architecture firm Pont 12.

As well as the ice rink, designed as a multi-functional hall, there will also be a practice rink for 300 spectators and an outdoor skating rink in winter.

A 50-metre, Olympic-sized swimming pool will also be developed, as well as a diving pit, a multi-function pool with movable floor and a paddling pool, while the Centre will also house table tennis and fencing training centres. 

It is envisaged as a "temple of sport, entertainment and culture for Lausanne, its suburbs and the surrounding area", acting as a "catalyst for its development and that of West Lausanne".

The entire project is estimated to cost CHF208 million (£160 million/$207 million/€183 million) is being financed for the most part by the Canton of Vaud, the City of Lausanne and the 26 municipalities of the region.

Work on the new site begun in spring 2017, with delivery scheduled for the second half of 2019, so ahead of the scheduled time-frame for the Winter YOG.

The Centre is also set to host the 2020 International Ice Hockey Federation World Championship alongside Zürich in May of that year.

It will serve as the new home of Lausanne Ice Hockey Club.

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Champéry Palladium

Champéry Palladium ©Champéry Tourism Office/Palladium
Champéry Palladium ©Champéry Tourism Office/Palladium

The Champéry Palladium will be the home of curling at Lausanne 2020.

It was announced that Champéry, a municipality in the district of Monthey in the canton of Valais, had replaced Morges as the host of the sport in March 2018.

Morges withdrew from its duties the previous month, citing economic concerns, and Lausanne 2020 revealed they evaluated "several options" before choosing Champéry.

The proposal to hold curling competitions at the Champéry Palladium, a multi-functional complex that houses a multitude of sporting infrastructures, was accepted by the IOC Coordination Commission.

The decision was also taken in conjunction with the World Curling Federation.

Champéry held the World Mixed Curling Championships in 2017 and has also staged the European men's and women's Championships on two occasions - in 2010 and 2014.

The municipality is one of the oldest tourist destinations in Switzerland and has been welcoming tourists since the early 1850s.

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Les Diablerets

Les Diablerets ©Max Coquard/Bestjobers
Les Diablerets ©Max Coquard/Bestjobers

Les Diablerets is a charming all-seasons Alpine resort located in the municipality of Ormont-Dessus, within the French-speaking canton of Vaud.

In the early part of 2018, permission was given by the Municipality of Les Diablerets for the remodelling of the Piste des Jorasses, one of the most used slopes in Les Diablerets and one of the main ski resorts in Switzerland's Vaud Alps.

In order to host Alpine skiing competitions at Lausanne 2020, it needed to be remodelled to conform to International Ski Federation (FIS) standards.

Alongside the remodelling for Lausanne 2020, the authorities considered how the slope could be used as part of a new strategic approach for winter and summer tourism in the area.

This included converting the chair-lift to a mixed chair-gondola lift, which allows cyclists to access the top of the mountain in the summer season.

With a village altitude of 1,200 metres, Les Diablerets is well-suited for a host of activities, including large-scale, internationally-recognised Alpine skiing events.

During the 2018-2019 winter season, Les Diablerets opened its new FIS-accredited Alpine ski piste with the FIS Europa Cup's women’s super-G and combined races. 

The inaugural event marked, what it is hoped, will be the start a new era in the resort, bringing in visitors from around the world to the village.

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Les Tuffes/Station des Rousses

Les Tuffes/Station de Rousses ©Stéphane Godin
Les Tuffes/Station de Rousses ©Stéphane Godin

Lausanne 2020 will not be an exclusively Swiss affair with France's Tuffes Nordic Stadium - named after Frenchman Jason Lamy-Chappuis, the Olympic gold medallist in the 10 kilometres individual hill event at Vancouver 2010 - chosen to stage ski jumping, biathlon and Nordic combined. 

Located in the Jura mountains of the Saint-Claude region of France, between the communes of Prémanon and Les Rousses, the stadium is where Lamy-Chappuis learned his trade as a youngster. 

The venue has undergone extensive modernisation in recent years in preparation for Lausanne 2020, including the rebuilding and lengthening of its hill.

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Leysin ©Laurent Ryser
Leysin ©Laurent Ryser

Leysin, located at the eastern end of Lake Genev, is set to stage ski and snowboard freestyle events at Lausanne 2020.

In December 2018, it was announced that Leysin would host the 2019 FIS Freeski and Snowboard Junior World Championship halfpipe events.

The resort is upgrading its halfpipe in preparation for Lausanne 2020 and staged the events in January in the build-up. 

The village of Leysin itself has a lot on offer and is known for its spectacular Alpine views across the Rhône Valley towards the Dents du Midi, inviting year-round mountain sports and recreation.

In winter, freestylers can often be seen practicing in the snowpark, while families have fun in the Tobogganing Park. 

Created by Swiss bobsledder Silvio Giobellina, a former world champion and an Olympic bronze medallist in the four-man event, the Tobogganing Park has some 10 "snowtubing" slopes to hurtle down on an inner tube.

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Stade Pierre de Coubertin

Stade Pierre de Coubertin ©Souchko Architecture
Stade Pierre de Coubertin ©Souchko Architecture

Pierre-de-Coubertin stadium, named after the founder of the modern Olympic Games, will play host to the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of Lausanne 2020. 

The venue, which has a regular capacity of 6,000, includes an athletics track and changing rooms available to the public. 

It hosted the first meetings of Athletissima, an international athletics event, from 1977 and continued to do so until 1985.

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St Moritz

St Moritz ©Filip Zuan
St Moritz ©Filip Zuan

Beloved by royalty and celebrities, the resort of St Moritz will surely be one of the iconic venues of Lausanne 2020.

A luxury alpine resort town in Switzerland’s Engadin valley. It has hosted the Winter Olympics twice, has the Cresta Run, a famous bobsled run made of natural ice, and an outdoor Olympic ice rink. Its frozen lake hosts polo, cricket and even horse racing on ice. Ski and snowboard areas include Corviglia, Diavolezza and Corvatsch, and there are well-groomed cross-country ski trails.

It was confirmed in December 2016 that bobsleigh, luge and skeleton competition would take place in the town.

The Celerina Olympic Bobrun, the oldest bobsleigh track in the world having been opened back in 1904, will be the venue. 

The three sports were not included as part of the original programme set out by Lausanne 2020 during the bidding stage for the third edition of the Winter YOG. 

Two hosts were being considered when organisers decided to find a way for them to be featured. 

La Plagne in France was considered as one possible option, the facility located around 150 kilometres from Lausanne.

Organisers instead selected St Moritz, which is further away from the Olympic Capital but is still in Switzerland.

The town is also set to host the speed skating and the competition promises to be spectacular as it will take place on a natural frozen lake - an amazing flashback to the 1948 Winter Olympic Games, during which the competition was held on the exact same spot.

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Vallée de Joux

Vallée de Joux ©D. Weibel
Vallée de Joux ©D. Weibel

Cross-country skiing at Lausanne 2020 will be held in Vallée de Joux, a valley of the Jura Mountains mainly in the Swiss Canton of Vaud. 

The region is situated 50 kilometres north of Geneva and Lausanne and can easily be reached by car or train.

In the winter, it offers hundreds of kilometres of cross-country skiing runs and snowshoeing tracks. 

There are also nine ski lifts and two ski schools for downhill skiing enthusiasts, and a variety of different sledge runs for families to enjoy.

In March 2019, Vallée de Joux played host to a stage of the cross-country skiing European Cup, as well as the OPA Games, the events serving as a rehearsal for Lausanne 2020. 

They provided the ideal opportunity for the Organising Committee to test the infrastructure prior to the Games, focusing in particular on the snow cover, race offices, spectator flow, car parking, security and transport. 

It was also a chance to test the trails which, while already certified by the International Ski Federation, were be used for the first time.

All of the races took place at Grandes Roches, the venue at which those for the Winter Youth Olympics will be held. 

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Villars ©Villars Tourisme
Villars ©Villars Tourisme

Ski cross, snowboard cross and ski mountaineering at Lausanne 2020 will be staged in the village of Villars-sur-Ollon and its 270km-long network of pistes.

Located in the heart of the Vaudois Alps, Villars was home to European Cup ski cross and FIS snowboard cross events in January 2019. 

"The organisers in Villars have once again shown the excellent quality of their work in this event’s preparation," Simone Righenzi, Lausanne 2020's sports director, said. 

"Even though there was fresh snow, everything was ready and done perfectly. 

"A brilliant success for Villars, in view of the Youth Olympic Games in 2020."

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Non-competition venues

Medal Plaza

Medal Plaza ©C. Leutenegger
Medal Plaza ©C. Leutenegger

The Lausanne 2020 medal ceremonies will take place in the Quartier du Flon, a lively cultural centre in the heart of the main host city pulsating with life, day and night in a modern and innovative setting. 

Flon is a district of former warehouses that begins at the Place de l’Europe and has been remodelled as a living area with a wide array of restaurants, bars, clubs, boutiques, cinemas, bowling and exhibition spaces. 

Locals claim a must to do is enjoy a drink on one of the rooftop terraces. In the winter, meanwhile, you can enjoy the ice-rink.

In 2018, Quartier du Flon signed up as a partner of Lausanne 2020 for real estate.

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Youth Olympic Village

Youth Olympic Village ©Demarle
Youth Olympic Village ©Demarle

Before becoming a student residence in autumn 2020, the Vortex will play host to the Athletes' Village for Lausanne 2020. 

The ring-shaped building is located in the heart of the campus of the University of Lausanne, an institutional partner of the Organising Committee.

It will house more than 1,000 athletes from 70 countries, who will benefit from newly-built rooms and amenities.

 At its tallest point, the Vortex is 27 metres high and boasts a circumference of 430m and a total surface area of 36,700m². The inner courtyard alone is 4,000m².

Construction on the new building began in May 2017 and is due to be completed in October 2019. The campus in the west of the city near Lake Geneva is also home to the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, the Swiss Institute of Comparative Law and the International Academy of Sport Science and Technology. 

With legacy at the forefront of planning for Lausanne 2020, after the Games the Vortex will be handed over to the University of Lausanne and repurposed as modern accommodation for 700 students.