The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is today marking 100 years of its presence in Lausanne. On 10 April 1915, Baron Pierre de Coubertin, the founder of the modern Olympic Movement, decided in agreement with the City to establish the headquarters of the IOC in Lausanne.
One hundred years later, IOC President Thomas Bach, in the presence of the Swiss Federal Councillor and Head of the Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sport, Ueli Maurer, Lausanne Mayor Daniel Brélaz and State Councillor Philippe Leuba, officially marked this significant anniversary and kicked off the celebrations that will take place throughout the year across the city.
The day started at the Bois-de-Vaux cemetery, where the IOC President paid tribute to Pierre de Coubertin. “Pierre de Coubertin himself decided to establish the IOC in Lausanne. It was the right decision to take then and it still is now. One century later, the Olympic Movement continues to flourish in the city that Coubertin chose. Though we are already implementing the recommendations of Olympic Agenda 2020, it is certain that Coubertin, a visionary and reformer at heart, would have loved to take part in this new stage in the future of the Olympic Movement and offer us sage advice.”
©IOC / Ian Jones
The IOC President then held a press conference at The Olympic Museum, during which he unveiled the latest results of a study showing the impact of the IOC on the Lausanne region, the Canton of Vaud and Switzerland. The study shows that the IOC and the 45 International Sports Federations based in Switzerland have a yearly economic impact of CHF 1.07 billion for Switzerland, CHF 546 million for the Canton of Vaud and CHF 250 million for Lausanne.
The study, commissioned by the IOC, the City of Lausanne and the Canton of Vaud, was conducted by the International Academy of Sports Science and Technology (AISTS), under the supervision of International Institute for Management Development (IMD) Professor Stéphane Garelli and Georgetown University Professor Jean-Jacques Dethier.
The full study can be downloaded at the following address: http://www.aists.org/impactstudy.
“The IOC enjoys a special relationship with Lausanne, and I am pleased to see that our presence here has prompted many International Federations to set up their headquarters in the Lausanne area and in other parts of Switzerland,” said President Thomas Bach. “With nearly CHF 3 million spent daily by the IOC and the international sports organisations, the impact on the local, regional and national economy is undeniable. Concretely, this means that every CHF 1 spent in Switzerland by sporting organisations generates CHF 1.55 for the local economy. The IOC is extremely pleased and proud of this contribution,” he added.
Covering the years 2008-2013, the AISTS study proposes a new approach as it is the first ever to include the direct economic impact, the indirect economic impact and the induced impact.
Among other striking figures, the study shows that the IOC and the international sports organisations employ 2,150 people in Switzerland and that they account for 32,000 business overnight stays per year.
“During these 100 years of common history, we wrote many important and fascinating chapters, and I am looking forward to the next one, which will see the consolidation of our headquarters in Lausanne,” President Thomas Bach said.
Indeed, the IOC decided last year to group together its administration – of 500 people – at a single location in Vidy, thus guaranteeing many jobs in Lausanne. For the IOC, it is a considerable investment – a total amount of CHF 200 million.
©IOC / Ian Jones
The concept developed by Danish architectural firm 3XN will offer the region a symbolic building meeting the highest demands in terms of sustainable development. It also aims to encourage integration with the environmental and historical heritage as well as with the local population.
“At a time when we are speaking about the future of our Movement with Olympic Agenda 2020, the new headquarters is a bridge between the roots of the IOC in Lausanne and our vision for the future,” underlined the IOC President.
With the consolidation of its headquarters, the IOC is further establishing itself in Lausanne for another 100 years. Indeed, the City of Lausanne has accepted to grant the IOC a lease until 2115.
In 2014, the IOC inaugurated its brand new Olympic Museum, which has since welcomed over 260,000 visitors.
The Olympic Museum will also pay tribute to the joint history of the IOC and Lausanne with the Centenary Exhibition. Inaugurated this morning by the IOC President, the exhibition, set up on the “Helvétie” boat on the quai d’Ouchy until 15 October, retraces the various chapters of this union between the IOC and the City of Lausanne.
In the coming months, the local population will have the opportunity to join the centenary celebrations by taking part in a number of events including:
- 10 April – 15 October: A photo exhibition at landmark sites in Lausanne (Casino Montbenon, Villa Mon-Repos, the IOC headquarters in Vidy, the House of International Sport (MSI), Lausanne train station and The Olympic Museum)
- 26 June: Olympic Day Run. Long and short race: both will go past Olympic landmarks in the city and finish at the Pierre de Coubertin Stadium.
- 27-28 June: Open Day at the IOC headquarters, The Olympic Museum, Villa Mon-Repos and other Olympic locations in Lausanne.
- 12-15 October: Olympic Week, with sports activities for children and teenagers in Lausanne.
The International Olympic Committee is a not-for-profit independent international organisation made up of volunteers, which is committed to building a better world through sport. It redistributes more than 90 per cent of its income to the wider sporting movement, which means that every day the equivalent of 3.25 million US dollars goes to help athletes and sports organisations at all levels around the world.
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