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This ceremony, which included a hip hop dancing demonstration, took place in Lausanne, Switzerland. To start the clock, Raynald Aeschlimann, President and CEO of OMEGA, was joined by Danka Bartekova, Chair of the IOC Coordination Commission for the Lausanne 2020 YOG; Alain Zobrist, CEO of OMEGA Timing; Patrick Baumann, IOC Member and President of Lausanne 2020; and Ian Logan, CEO of Lausanne 2020.On 10 January 2020, when the Opening Ceremony will take place, Lausanne 2020 will mark the third edition of the Winter Youth Olympic Games. Around 1,880 young athletes from over 70 nations will compete in 81 events in and around the Swiss city of Lausanne, on the shores of Lake Geneva, in the nearby Vaud Alps and Jura mountains, and in St Moritz. The Lausanne 2020 YOG will be particularly notable for having the same number of male and female athletes competing, which will be a first for a Winter Olympic event, as well as for being the first time that ski mountaineering appears on the Olympic Games programme.
Mr Aeschlimann said: "OMEGA is truly looking forward to Lausanne 2020. To be in this special location to serve the best young athletes in the world will be a great privilege. Of course, Switzerland is OMEGA's home, so we'll have an extra feeling of pride when we welcome the world here."
Known as the "Olympic Capital", Lausanne has been the home of the modern Olympic Movement for more than 100 years and houses both the IOC Headquarters and The Olympic Museum. Lausanne 2020 will thus represent a truly memorable celebration for Switzerland, since the last Olympic Winter Games were held in St Moritz in 1948 – an event that OMEGA also timed.
For OMEGA, the Winter Youth Olympic Games Lausanne 2020 will be a "local" occasion too, as the brand's own watchmaking headquarters in Bienne are situated just over 100km from the host city. The event will add even more experience to the OMEGA's already incredible legacy of Olympic Games timekeeping.
Ms Bartekova, an Olympic medallist in skeet shooting, also commented on the event by saying: "We are privileged to share this moment together with our friends from OMEGA, a long-standing partner of the Olympic Games. OMEGA not only provides the timekeeping for all sports competitions, but also for the countdown clock that we are unveiling today. Thanks to OMEGA's cutting-edge technology, the times and results will be transmitted to spectators and fans across the globe. So, let me thank everyone at OMEGA for their great support for Lausanne 2020."
Mr Baumann added: "Lausanne 2020, the biggest winter multi-sport event after the Olympic Games, innovates and involves the whole country and neighbouring France, and promotes the Olympic values and the commitment to youth on a daily basis. We look forward to continuing this momentum for the next two years and are pleased to celebrate 'Two Years To Go' today alongside OMEGA, a partner which shares these same values with us and confirms its support to the Olympic Movement in all its facets."