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The Lausanne 2020 legacy

Hailed a success by the organisers, the athletes and the public alike, the Lausanne 2020 Youth Olympic Games closed in style last night. In order to overcome the post-Games blues, let’s take a look at the positive and lasting legacy these Games will leave for the local population.

Upgraded infrastructure
The most visible benefits often result from infrastructure projects which have been initiated or accelerated due to the Games, but will benefit local communities in the long term. One of those projects in Lausanne is the residential zone of the Youth Olympic Village, the famous ellipse-shaped building on the University of Lausanne (UNIL) campus. Having been built to accommodate 1880 athletes in 712 rooms and apartments during the YOG, the “Vortex” will now be converted into much-needed student lodgings and offer a home, from this summer, to more than 1000 students. 

The construction of the new Malley ice skating rink (9700 seats) was also sped up thanks to the YOG. Long- term it will be used by the Lausanne Hockey Club as well as the public of the surrounding area and will also host the Ice Hockey World Championship a mere four months after the YOG.

In the mountains, the resort of Les Diablerets, which hosted the YOG alpine skiing competitions, will benefit from the impact of the event with the installation of the new ski lift “Diablerets Express” as well as a new ski run that meets the International Ski Federation (FIS) standards. Similarly, the facilities in Leysin, the venue for the acrobatic ski and snowboard competitions, were extensively renovated which will benefit future generations, with a brand new snow park complying with FIS standards.

As a result of the YOG, there is also a cross-border agreement in place between the French department of Jura and Switzerland’s Nordic teams, who, for the next 20 years, will enjoy access to the upgraded facilities in Les Tuffes (Station des Rousses) after the venue staged the ski jump, biathlon and Nordic combined events. 

Soft legacies
Albeit more difficult to measure, the Lausanne 2020 YOG have certainly left behind a number of educational and social legacies.Approximately 130,000 students from local schools, colleges and universities have contributed their talents to make the 3rd Winter YOG a success. These young people learnt from their involvement in this international event and got inspired by it. Likewise, the project was supported by innumerable stakeholders such as local universities, National Federations, local sport clubs and volunteers who all felt the same pride in being part of such a unique and unifying event. 

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