Olympic champions and medallists welcomed to Olympic House ahead of Lausanne track and field meeting

24 Aug 2022
IOC News Athletes

Olympic champions and Olympic medallists set to compete this week at Athletissima, the traditional Lausanne track and field meeting of the Diamond League, were welcomed today by International Olympic Committee (IOC) President and Olympic champion Thomas Bach to Olympic House. The IOC headquarters in the Olympic capital in Switzerland is recognised as one of the most sustainable buildings in the world.

Tour, Portrait and Wall signing Athletes Athletissima IOC / Christophe Moratal

Among the visitors were Olympic champions Armand “Mondo” Duplantis, Elaine Thompson-Herah, Christian Taylor and Mutaz Essa Barshim, as well as Olympic medallist Femke Bol, who recently won three gold medals at the European Championships in Munich, Germany. All of the athletes were awarded with OLY certificates of recognition by President Bach upon signing the Olympians Wall. President Bach also gave them a tour of the building and showed them his office.

The visit also saw a much-anticipated meeting between two Olympic champions and pole vault legends from past and present: Sergii Bubka, now an IOC Member, and Duplantis.

The first man ever to clear six metres, Bubka broke the indoor world record 18 times and the outdoor world record 17 times, with the 6.14m record he set in 1994 standing until Duplantis broke it in 2020 by one centimetre. Since then, the Swede has already improved on this mark twice to reach 6.21m, which is also higher than his current indoor world record of 6.20m.

IOC/Christophe Moratal

Tomorrow’s Athletissima city event will allow the public to get a closer look at some of the world’s best pole vaulters as they perform outside the stadium at Place de la Navigation by Lake Geneva. On Friday, the athletes will gather for Athletissima at the Stade Olympique in Lausanne for their Diamond League meeting.

Sprinter Thompson-Herah appreciated the opportunity to come to Olympic House: “It is a good feeling to be in the IOC to have the experience and see the work being put in – as we haven’t seen all this work behind the scenes. We only see what we do on the track, so to get that experience is very beautiful.”

IOC/Christophe Moratal

For triple jumper Taylor, meeting President Bach and visiting Olympic House was his favourite moment of 2022 so far: “This is really special; to be a part of the Olympic Games, to shake his hand and hear how he lives and breathes the Olympic spirit. To be here in a heavily recycled building, to walk in the hallways of people who are making my dreams come true is extremely special. It’s surreal, and it’s also very encouraging working towards [the] Paris [2024 Olympics].”

Earlier, the group heard about the services and support provided by the IOC Athletes’ Department, created last year, under the leadership of the IOC Athletes’ Commission, and the ways in which the athletes’ voice is at the heart of the Olympic Movement.

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