2020 Vision: Looking ahead to Lausanne 2020 – Gender equality
As attention turns to the Winter Youth Olympic Games (YOG) Lausanne 2020, in a new series we highlight some of the many reasons to get excited ahead of the Games. First up, we shine the spotlight on how Lausanne 2020 will be the first Winter Games to have a fully gender-balanced sporting programme.
As the fanfare of one Olympic event dies down, the excitement ahead of the next begins. Earlier this year, the 3rd Summer YOG in Buenos Aires became the first Olympic Games to feature full gender balance – a key focus of Olympic Agenda 2020 – and Lausanne 2020 will pick up where Buenos Aires 2018 left off.
The YOG have always been synonymous with innovation and the pursuit of a forward-thinking agenda. Following on from the Youth Olympic Games Working Group Recommendations, the IOC Executive Board last year confirmed a number of changes to the Winter YOG that will see more young athletes, more women and more new events feature in Lausanne.
For starters, nearly 1,900 athletes are expected to gather in the Swiss city, and the event programme will feature the highest number of women’s events – and the highest number of female athletes – ever at the Winter YOG.
To accommodate the increased number of athletes, a two-wave stay system will be pioneered in Lausanne. Each wave of athletes will have a shorter stay than usual on site, allowing the YOG to welcome significantly more participants while extending the competition’s duration by just three days, and without the need for any additional beds.
Not only will equal numbers of men and women be competing for medals; some exciting new disciplines have also been added to the programme to reflect the increased female participation.
For the first time, a Winter Games edition will include mixed-nationality 3x3 ice hockey (with each team made up of three boys and three girls), a women’s doubles competition in luge, and a women’s Nordic combined event.
With little more than year to go until the Opening Ceremony, the countdown has well and truly begun.