Usain Bolt sent a video message to Lausanne 2020 athletes ©Olympic Channel

Eight-time Olympic champion Usain Bolt has encouraged participants at the Lausanne 2020 Winter Youth Olympics to enjoy the experience.

The former Jamaican sprint star made the comments in a pre-Games video message to athletes.

It was played at a welcoming session for delegations here yesterday, prior to today's Opening Ceremony.

"To all you kids out there, I just want to say, all the best of luck," Bolt said.

"That's where I started, you know?

"That's where your future starts to take shape.

"Go out there, do your best and enjoy yourself.

"That's the key thing, enjoy the experience.

"You're this young, take your time, develop and get great."

During his career Bolt won eight Olympic gold medals and a further 11 titles at the World Athletics Championships.

He is also the world record holder in the men's 100 metres, 200m and 4x100m relay events.

Bolt is one of the world's most recognisable sporting stars, despite his retirement from athletics after the London 2017 World Athletics Championships.

He was an ambassador at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, while the former sprinter was among the main stars to participate at the opening of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Stadium last month.

The 33-year-old has previously been involved in the Youth Olympic Games, having been an ambassador for the inaugural summer event in Singapore during 2010.

Lausanne 2020 will begin later today with the Opening Ceremony, marking the start of 13 days of sporting competition.

The event, which is sold out, will be centered on the theme of "home" and features seven symbolic elements that epitomise the Olympic Movement.

This includes the lighting of the Olympic Flame, which will burn throughout the Games.

In total, 1,783 athletes are set to compete in eight sports.