Just a few metres from Olympic House, 3,000 school children and 400 guests from across the canton of Vaud gathered today at the Pierre de Coubertin Stadium to celebrate the forthcoming Winter Youth Olympic Games, which will take place in just under four months’ time, starting on 9 January.
The extraordinary event for children aged between 10 to 15 years old was organised by the Canton of Vaud in collaboration with the City of Lausanne and Lausanne 2020 organisers. Two students from each municipality were invited to bring their municipal flag in exchange for the Lausanne 2020 flag to represent the spirit of the Youth Olympic Games and the values of friendship and respect.
The surprise appearance of the Youth Olympic flame, which arrived in Lausanne just the night before, wowed the onlooking crowd when it was carried in by four young athletes all aiming to get to Lausanne 2020, who then lit a ceremonial cauldron in the stadium.
In the presence of IOC President Thomas Bach and Lausanne 2020 President Virginie Faivre, the Lausanne 2020 and Olympic flags were then raised along with the Swiss and French flags in recognition of the event taking place throughout Switzerland and in neighbouring France.
One of the most spectacular moments of the event was the “flash mob” by exactly 2,020 students, who created a giant cantonal flag in a celebration of unity.
The flame will now remain in Lausanne until the Torch Tour starts its journey to the 26 cantons of Switzerland and into neighbouring France on 21 September.
For the full schedule of the Torch Tour, please go to www.lausanne2020.sport/en/torch-tour. Fans around the world can join the fun by using the Lausanne 2020 flame filter now live on Instagram.