The President of the Swiss Confederation, Alain Berset, was guest of honour at The Olympic Museum in Lausanne on Friday. IOC President Thomas Bach gave the Swiss Head of State a personal guided tour of the exhibitions at The Museum, including a special exhibit devoted to Swiss athletes who participated in the recent Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang. The pair also looked at an exhibition about the IOC in Lausanne and the construction of the new IOC headquarters, "Olympic House", which will be inaugurated on Olympic Day in 2019.
The two leaders had the opportunity to discuss a number of topics of mutual interest, including the fundamental reforms undertaken by the IOC with Olympic Agenda 2020, particularly with regard to sustainability, good governance and respect for human rights. The sizeable economic impact of the IOC’s presence in Switzerland was also discussed.
With 45 international sports organisations based in Switzerland, employing 2,150 people, the majority working for the IOC, it is estimated that sports organisations boost the Swiss economy by more than 1 billion Swiss Francs (CHF 1.07 billion) each year, lifting the Swiss GDP by 0.2 percent annually. More than half of that boost comes to the Canton of Vaud, which benefits to the tune of just over half-a-billion Swiss Francs (CHF 0.55 billion) each year. Read more here
Speaking at The Museum, President Bach welcomed President Berset, saying: "The Olympic Museum is the place where we have celebrated our close relationship with Lausanne, the Canton of Vaud and the Confederation, on so many occasions. Our profound attachment of more than 100 years in the Olympic Capital and in Switzerland will be further reinforced next year with the inauguration of our new headquarters in Vidy - Olympic House. This investment is a demonstration of our commitment to Lausanne, the Canton of Vaud and Switzerland as our home."
President Berset said: "My visit to the IOC today has enabled me to re-emphasise the strong links between Switzerland and the IOC, an organisation that has made its home here for over 100 years. Sport is a fantastic tool for promoting equal opportunities. I firmly believe that the IOC’s mission to place sport at the service of humanity and peace is essential."
During the visit, President Bach was accompanied by IOC Member in Switzerland and Executive Board member, Denis Oswald.
Joining the Swiss President were Philippe Leuba, Councillor of State of the Canton of Vaud, and Gregoire Junod, the Mayor of Lausanne. After the visit to The Olympic Museum, the IOC President will this evening be at the inauguration of Lausanne’s new sports complex the Centre Sportif de La Tuilière, a sports centre that will provide nine new football pitches for the region.
The International Olympic Committee is a not-for-profit independent international organisation made up of volunteers, which is committed to building a better world through sport. It redistributes more than 90 per cent of its income to the wider sporting movement, which means that every day the equivalent of 3.4 million US dollars goes to help athletes and sports organisations at all levels around the world.
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