On 22 January, at the Closing Ceremony of the 3rd Winter Youth Olympic Games (YOG), the people of Lausanne and the Canton of Vaud, as well as a number of key figures involved in the organisation and delivery of Lausanne 2020, were recognised for their outstanding contribution to the success of the Games.
The Olympic Cup was presented by IOC President Thomas Bach and accepted by the Mayor of Lausanne, Grégoire Junod, and Councillor of State Philippe Leuba, who is head of the Canton of Vaud’s Department for Economic Development, Innovation and Sport, on behalf of the local population.
Contributions from local people were everywhere at the YOG – from the 3,800-strong cast of smiling volunteers, to the students who designed and crafted so many elements of Lausanne 2020, to the crowds who came in their thousands to the competition venues and the ‘En Jeux!’ activities to create a truly special atmosphere in the Olympic Capital.
Mayor Junod and Councillor Leuba, along with Lausanne 2020 President Virginie Faivre and CEO Ian Logan, were later honoured for their contribution to the success of the YOG at a thank-you dinner at the Lausanne Palace hotel, where they all received the Olympic Order. The Olympic Order is the highest individual accolade awarded by the Olympic Movement, recognising individuals who have made an outstanding contribution that is faithful to the Olympic ideal and the vision of Pierre de Coubertin.
“It’s not easy to put words on such exceptional feelings. We are very moved by this gesture,” said Councillor Leuba, speaking on behalf of the four recipients. “I would like to thank you for your vote of confidence, and for giving us the opportunity to organise the 3rd Winter YOG at home.
“It will make its mark forever on this city, on all of the athletes, all of the volunteers and on all of the spectators. Today, Lausanne is a little bit more the home of the IOC. We will build on the legacy of Lausanne 2020: for the youth, for the sport, for the Olympic values.”
Afterwards, the 50 members of the Lausanne 2020 Organising Committee were given special commemorative pins by the IOC, while certificates were also presented to the mayors of cities that hosted competitions in Switzerland. Representatives of Lausanne, Champéry, Les Diablerets, Leysin, Vallée de Joux, Les Tuffes, Villars and St Moritz all received these certificates, underlining the one-team approach at the heart of this YOG that was fundamental to its success.