The Lausanne 2020 flame is travelling around Switzerland in style on its way to the Opening Ceremony of the Winter Youth Olympic Games on January 9 ©Lausanne 2020

Lausanne 2020’s Olympic flame will ring in the New Year at the resort of Villars, which is due to host the ski mountaineering, the newest addition to the Winter Youth Olympic Games (YOG).

It arrived there from Leysin, which also hosts freestyle and snowboard events and has also visited the Alpine ski venue at Les DIablerets.

The Torch will be on display until Friday (January 3) when it is scheduled to cross the border into France for a one night stopover in Les Tuffes, the centre for Nordic competitions, which become the first YOG events held outside the host country.

"It is with great emotion that I accompany the Olympic Flame in the final moments of its journey," said Virginie Faivre President of Lausanne 2020.

"Over the last few months, the flame has helped to spread the Olympic spirit and values throughout Switzerland."

Unlike the Torch Relay for the Olympic Games themselves, the YOG journey of the flame takes the form of a "tour".

It had spent the  fortnight before Christmas in St Moritz, the first of the YOG venues to welcome the flame.

It was also  the first time an Olympic Cauldron had burnt in St Moritz since the 1948 Olympic Winter Games.

The visit had coincided with the women’s International Ski Federation Alpine Ski World Cup and a Cauldron was ignited by Christoph Kunz, winner of Paralympic gold medals at both Vancouver 2010 and Sochi 2014, and was joined by  World Para Alpine Skiing Championships silver medallist Robin Cuche.

Carried in special safety lamps, the flame  was taken aboard the Glacier Express as it headed back to the French speaking areas of Switzerland by rail.

Organisers have described the Torch Relay as a marathon.

 It was lit from the rays of the sun at the Panathinaiko stadium in Athens back in September and has now visited every Swiss canton.

In Geneva, it was even carried by Eritrean-born marathoner and refugee Tadesse Abraham, who carried the flame to the United Nations building in the city.

The flame is set to make its grand arrival  in Lausanne on January 6  and will burn first at the Place de la Riponne a traditional gathering place which has an Olympic tradition. 

Back in 1944 a gymnastics display took place there to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Olympic Movement.

The final set piece of the tour is set for January 8 when some 200 runners will bear the Torch on the eve of the opening ceremony.

Some of the participants  will be drawn from a competition held the day before at the official Lausanne 2020 store.

Youngsters from the age of 12 have been challenged to "’write a  five line description of something that you're proud of because it had a positive impact on your community!"

Organisers have promised the winners a chance "to participate in the great Lausanne 2020 adventure from the inside".

The final Lausanne 2020 Cauldron is set to be lit at the Opening Ceremony the following evening.

The Swiss Alps provided a breathtaking stop on the Lausanne 2020 Torch Relay ©Lausanne 2020
The Swiss Alps provided a breathtaking stop on the Lausanne 2020 Torch Relay ©Lausanne 2020

Whoever is chosen to light the flame will follow in the footsteps of  legendary Austrian skier Franz Klammer, one of three cauldron lighters at the 2012 Winter YOG in Innsbruck

In 2016, Princess Ingrid Alexandra of Norway lit the flame in Lillehammer.

On both occasions the flame was relocated to a smaller city centre location during the Games themselves for environmental reasons.

The exact design of the Lausanne 2020 Cauldron remains a closely guarded secret but organisers have revealed it will burn Swiss wood pellets and claim it will be "powered for the first time in the history of the Games by an eco responsible fuel".