The 2020 Youth Olympic Games, Lausannefrom January 9 to 22, 2020

The canton of Vaud welcomed young athletes from around the world

From 9 to 22 January 2020, the canton of Vaud will be hosting the 3rd edition of the Youth Olympic Games (YOG). “Competing, learning and sharing!” These are the values of the YOG and Lausanne 2020. This sports event is the most important of its kind in the world. It is reserved to athletes aged 15 to 18 from around 70 countries.

Lausanne, the capital of Olympism and the canton of Vaud in cooperation with the ski regions hosting these games aim to bring together the local population around this event. This Olympic and sports event is also a springboard for young athletes who will be the elite athletes of tomorrow.

The Youth Olympic Games give them, their families and the public the opportunity to discover the treasures and winter activities in the canton of Vaud. They and visitors to the region will enjoy these new developments and events this winter and for years to come.

JOJ 2020

An entire region vibrated to the rhythm of the Youth Olympic Games

The organisation of Lausanne 2020 involves more than 3,000 volunteers who work on a total of eight sites. These people are committing themselves for months to this event in the regions of the Vaudois Alps and the Vaudois Jura to highlight the assets of the various destinations hosting the Youth Olympic Games.

Lausanne, Villars-Les Diablerets, Leysin-Les Mosses and Vallée de Joux have started preparing for the Olympic Games. The canton’s four hosting sites are improving their facilities and have organised test competitions to be ready for January 2020.


Lausanne, the heart of Olympism
and host of the YOG

Since 1994 Lausanne has been the capital of Olympism and is the headquarters of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The city is also the home of the Olympic Museum, which attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors from around the world each year. Approximately fifty international sports organisations and federations also have their headquarters in Lausanne. The city was therefore the ideal candidate to host the Youth Olympic Games in 2020.

The Olympic Village of Lausanne 2020 called “The Vortex” will be set up in an impressive building shaped like an Olympic ring. Built in the heart of the university campus next to Lake Geneva, this architectural work will accommodate 1,880 athletes and their attendants during the YOG.
The student city will assume its rightful role of Olympic and sports capital during the YOG 2020. The ice sports (speed skating on a short track, ice hockey and figure skating) will be held in the Vaudoise Arena, a new skating rink offering 9,500 seats. This will also be the site of the opening ceremony in Lausanne/Malley. At the end of the competitions, the athletes will receive their prizes on Place des Médailles in the heart of the Flon quarter. This festive and lively quarter reflects the very essence of Lausanne. The shops, restaurants and nightlife around this square will transform into a friendly meeting place offering exchanges between the young athletes, their families and the general public.

Bringing together the worlds of sport and culture for the first time, Lausanne en Jeux! offers a rich programme of activities with a focus on the region’s incredible vitality. More than 100 activities such as concerts, introductory classes, shows, exhibitions, performances, dance and cinema but also a space dedicated to the digital era will make the Vaudois capital sway to the rhythm of the YOG. The public can also get introductory classes to many winter sports in downtown Lausanne. This will transform the Vaudois capital into a new winter resort in an after-ski atmosphere. More than 40 cultural players will take part in this event, offering exhibitions in connection with the YOG, winter sports and sports in general.

Speed skating on a short trackSpeed skating on a short track
Ice hockeyIce hockey
Figure skatingFigure skating

Three questions to Ian Logan

Ian Logan, what contribution will Lausanne 2020 make to the region?
This event will put Lausanne on the map of the world. The athletes will become aware that the city is not only the administrative and Olympic capital but also a place where you can practice all kinds of sports.

And will this appeal to the young?
Certainly. It’s not by chance that the Olympic Village is on the uni campus! Lausanne is a lively student town. It serves as a magnet and the centre of the event. There will be a ski slope in Les Diablerets and a cross-country slope in Vallée de Joux. There will also be an ice rink and an Olympic pool in Malley stadium. All these facilities created around the Lausanne 2020 event will turn into a permanent feature to be enjoyed by everyone.

Hearing you say this makes me want to say that Lausanne 2020 has already started!
It has. Lausanne 2020 is a fantastic opportunity to highlight our strengths - our landscapes, energy, and creativity – as well as the proximity of facilities in the canton of Vaud. Even the airport is nearby! This sports event also puts things in a larger context, not only on an urban or cantonal level, but also on a Swiss one. This is a great asset in our interconnected world, where getting about has become so easy.


Villars-Les Diablerets, gate to the Alps

In the Vaudois Alps, Villars-Les Diablerets is a skiing paradise for the whole family.The youngest will experience their first downhill skiing in the kids’ winter gardens. Maybe they’ll dream of emulating Villars-born Fanny Smith, the world skicross champion.

Preparing the ski areas is therefore of the utmost importance. Tim Vodoz, a driver of a snow groomer in the ski area of Villars-Les Diablerets, makes sure they're in perfect condition. He knows the slopes like the back of his hand.

Children become quickly familiar with this ski area. They soon feel at home on them.
Tim Vodoz, driver of a snow groomer in Villars-Les Diablerets.

During the Youth Olympic Games 2020, he and his colleagues will prepare the slopes where the snowboard/cross and downhill skiing are held.

- Villars-
Ski mountainerringSki mountainerring
Snowboard crossSnowboard cross
Ski crossSki cross
- Les Diablerets -
Alpine skiingAlpine skiing

A new cablecar and a lit slope in Les Diablerets

Fans of winter sports will be delighted to use the brand-new cable car in the Les Diablerets ski area. Its name “Diablerets Express” stands to reason: it’s ultra fast and takes skiers to the Jorasse slope, which has been enlarged in view of the forthcoming ski competitions. This downhill slope is lit at night. A magical experience open to all once the young athletes’ night training sessions are over.

Snow Sport Festival

The Tourist Board is organising a highlight weekend called “Snow Sport Festival” on January 11 and 12, 2020. With a pass worth CHF 5.00, you can get introductory classes to several winter sports such as biathlon, ski jumping, ice hockey, cross-country skiing, skating, curling, alpine skiing, ski-mountaineering and telemark. The resort also organises general public introductory courses to boardercross on the track’s starting gates as well as to skiing-mountaineering.


Leysin-Les Mosses in freestyle mode

There are several attractions in ski area of Leysin-Les Mosses: The famous revolving restaurant Kuklos with its unrestricted view of the Alpine summits and the Tobogganing Park, where thrills are guaranteed.

The one and only half-pipe in the Vaudois Alps is  open to the public. This facility has been custom-built for Lausanne 2020. Freestyle fans of all ages will be delighted to use it. This is where Leysin will host the freestyle skiing and snowboarding events (halfpipe and slopestyle).

SnowboardSnowboard skiing

Three questions for Benjamin Ravanel

Benjamin Ravanel, is it true that the region is gaining a foothold in the field of freestyle?
Absolutely! This is also one of the reasons why the design and maintenance of the snow parks has been entrusted to professionals from this year. But there is nothing elitist about it. There is something for every level, from 7 to 77 years, including for beginners! A grandfather may want to have a go at banked corners with his grandson, for example.

And there is also the famous half-pipe, one of Switzerland’s largest three...
Its length of 160 metres and height of 7 metres conforms to FIS standards and allows for competitions. Incidentally, we will be hosting the world half-pipe championships from now on. The facility should be operational and open to the public by 20 January.

What are the region’s main assets in your opinion?
Much has been invested in mechanical snow-making systems in the snow parks this year, with a view to Lausanne 2020. But visitors will be able to enjoy all of that well beyond the event. There is the incredible view, for one! Especially from the Kuklos, the famous revolving restaurant. Its accessibility by train is another asset: no need to drive to Leysin!

The sports centre, a strategic site

The sports centre of the Leysin public swimming pool is at the heart of celebrations. There will be conferences, concerts and other convivial activities. There will also be a space where you can get introductory lessons to the summer freestyle sports.

Vallée de Joux

Vallée de Joux: return to nature

In winter, Vallée de Joux resembles the Far North. Lac de Joux turns into a “natural ice rink” surrounded by forests. This view is even more spectacular from Dent de Vaulion, the region’s most emblematic summit.

Lausanne 2020 give the young athletes the opportunity to discover these wonderful slopes in preserved nature.
Laurence Rochat, winner of a bronze medal in cross-country skiing at the Olympics of Salt Lake City

Laurence Rochat is an unconditional fan of “her” Vallée de Joux. This where the Nordic ski competition of Lausanne 2020 will be held. “Sure, the region is slightly removed from the hustle and bustle of the cities. But that’s what makes it so attractive. Lausanne 2020 will give the young athletes the opportunity to discover its beauty.”

Espace horloger

In Le Sentier, Espace Horloger is offering a temporary exhibition in connection with timing and sport. After being renovated, it will offer an entirely new museography.


Get your scissors !

The Youth Olympic Games stand for sports but also fun and recreation.
Create a paper figure with your own hands - a pastime both children and grownups enjoy. Download and print the document below. All you need after that is a pair of scissors, glue and a bit of patience to assemble “Yodli”, the famous mascot of the YOG.

Perhaps they will even decorate your desk or shelves?

Papertoy Yodli
Papertoy Yodli

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