Swiss President Maurer "very excited" about Youth Olympic bid as Lausanne launches official application
Friday, 12 July 2013
July 12 - Swiss President Ueli Maurer is said to be "very excited" about the prospect of his nation hosting the 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games following the official launch of Lausanne's application.
The country's leader spoke to the "positive impact" the Games are expected to have on youth sport development of sport in Switzerland.
"If designed intelligently, [the Games] can actually have a significant weight on the development of the next generation in Switzerland," said a statement.
The Bid Committee met with Maurer at a special reception held to honour International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Jacques Rogge's 12-year career in the most powerful position in global sport before he steps down in September.
The event held in the Canton of Vaud capital on the shores of Lake Geneva saw Rogge meeting with Maurer, who presented the Belgian with several awards for his dedication to the Olympic Movement, Lausanne Mayor Daniel Brélaz, Federal Office for Sport President Matthias Remund and State Councillor Philippe Leuba, as well as a number of Swiss sporting figures.
"I still recall my very first visit to Lausanne in 1986 and how I fell in love with the city immediately," Rogge said.
"To stay along the lines of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, I would really say 'Ich bin ein Lausanner'".
Lausanne - often referred to as the Olympic capital - is home to not only the IOC headquarters but also to 60 other international sport federations.
St Moritz hosted the second Winter Olympics in 1924 but since then Switzerland has bid unsuccessfully six times.
The Winter Youth Olympics, which were hosted in Innsbruck for the first time last year with 1,059 athletes from 70 countries, are seen as a more realistic prospect and which will not face the public opposition other bids from Switzerland have encountered - St Moritz and Davos had to withdraw a proposed campaign for 2022 while Bern was forced to drop its bid for the 2010 Winter Olympics, both following public referendums.
Bids for the 2020 Winter Youth Olympics are due by November 28 this year and Lausanne could see itself up against Sofia and Lake Placid.
The host city for the event will be elected in May or June 2015.
May 2013: Lausanne to study bidding for 2020 Winter Youth Olympics