Swiss President Sommaruga hails sustainability of Lausanne 2020 ahead of first day of competition at Winter Youth Olympic Games
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Swiss President Simonetta Sommaruga has hailed the sustainability of Lausanne 2020 as the city prepares for the first day of competition in the Winter Youth Olympic Games (YOG).
President Sommaruga toured the Youth Olympic Village, known as The Vortex, and met members of the Swiss team ahead of the opening ceremony. The Swiss team is the largest at the Games, with 112 athletes. Russia is the next biggest team with 107.
Six months after Lausanne 2020, the building will be handed over to the city’s university and used as student accommodation, in accordance with the Olympic legacy ideal.
In line with Lausanne 2020’s commitment to sustainability, several events in St Moritz – speed skating, bobsleigh, skeleton and luge – will make Youth Olympic history by taking place on natural ice for the first time. Speed skaters will compete outside on a natural frozen lake, while the other ice events will be held on the only natural – and the oldest – bobsleigh track in the world, the historic Olympic Bob Run.
To further reduce the environmental footprint of the YOG, the Organising Committee has committed to reducing the use of plastic for food and drink at all the official sites. Organisers have also held a series of citywide clean-up “plogging” events – following a Swedish concept that combines jogging and picking up litter.
For the first time at an Olympic tournament, athletes will use public transport to get to their events, helping to reduce the carbon emissions associated with the YOG. Fans are also being encouraged to use local trains and buses to reach the venues, with a purpose-built transport app to guide them.
President Sommaruga is delighted the people of Lausanne, and Switzerland as a whole, will be able to benefit from the facilities built for the Games. She said: “Lausanne can show as well that you can make the Olympic Games sustainable. They (athletes) will use public transport, they will use infrastructures that existed already. They have apartments that will be used afterwards by Swiss students, so I think that sustainability and Olympic values go together and Lausanne will show that it is possible to do it like that.”
© Copyright International Olympic Committee 2020. This content is the exclusive property of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). It is made available to you for bona fide media reporting purposes on the basis of the Creative Commons / Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 IGO license terms. All rights reserved.