Lausanne 2020, start now for future

2020-01-10 01:23:25 GMT2020-01-10 09:23:25(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

LAUSANNE, Switzerland, Jan. 9 (Xinhua) -- The city of Lausanne embraces a milestone on Thursday.

The 3rd Winter Youth Olympic Games kicks off, and it's the first time for Lausanne to stage any version of the Olympic Games.

The city, where locates the International Olympic Committee headquarters alongside with tens of International sports federations, means a lot to the world sports. At the same time, with youth, sport, innovation, Olympic spirit and partnership as the keywords, the 3rd Winter Youth Olympic Games also means a lot to the future.

GREEN GAMES AND NEW IDEAS

Lausanne 2020 witnesses a lot of innovations. It's the first bi-national YOG, with several events being held across the border in the French Jura. It's also the first time for eco-friendly fuel to be used to power the cauldron. New sports and events such as ski mountaineering and women's Nordic combined will appear at the Games.

What's more, a "two-wave" system is introduced in the 2020 version of YOG, which will see athletes stay at the YOG in two groups, the first attending the Opening Ceremony and the second attending the Closing Ceremony. This approach allows for an overall increase in the number of participating athletes.

Lausanne 2020 will be an incubator for "future Olympic ideas", Ian Logan, CEO of the organizing committee of Lausanne 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games, said in an exclusive interview with Xinhua.

According to Logan, many of the development concepts embodied in the games will set a "new standard" for future Olympic events.

"In terms of transportation, for example, for the first time, the Lausanne youth winter Olympics will give up the use of buses and allow athletes to use public transportation to get to the venues." "It may take a little longer than the bus, but it's more 'green,'" he said.

"In addition, we do not use artificial snow at the open venues, and all tracks are covered with natural snow. We'll even build tracks on the frozen lake -- that's a good example of sustainability."

FOR THE YOUTH

"For youth, by youth and with youth" is embodied in every part of the Games. Nearly 150,000 students from local schools, colleges and universities have so far contributed to the delivery of the Winter YOG Lausanne 2020. They also offered help on designing the official mascot, the Olympic cauldron, the medal trays and the podiums.

Young athletes are expecting to shine on the YOG stage.

"It's my biggest competition yet," said 14-year-old Arlet Levandi from Estonia, who is participating in figure skating. "It's a big step, going from last year to this."

What's more, fifteen young reporters are in action at the Lausanne 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games.

"We had 34 reporters for the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games, and we picked the best ones to come to Lausanne," Australian ABC sports journalist Tracey Holmes said to the official website of Lausanne 2020. "By the time they come here, they're more professional, and more is expected of them. The pressure is on, and we work intensely. They also specialize more at the Winter Games, whether it's in broadcast, writing or photography.

TO BEIJING 2022

The Lausanne 2020 Games bring together about 1,900 athletes from more than 75 nations and regions competing in 81 events across eight sports.

It's seen as a rehearsal for Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics.

Fifty-three Chinese athletes have confirmed their participation in the Lausanne Winter Youth Olympic Games, which will take place from January 9 to 22, 2020, 50% more than in Lillehammer in 2016.

"We are very happy to see that so many Chinese athletes will join us to celebrate their sports in a fantastic environment, here in Switzerland," Logan said, adding that "their participation will be a great promotion for the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing which will be a unique platform to promote winter sports to the Chinese people. "

"We are also delighted to welcome a large number of Chinese visitors in January. We invite them to come and encourage the young athletes who will participate in Lausanne 2020, some of whom we will probably find in Beijing in 2022!", He added.

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