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Special relationship Olympics HQ celebrates 100 years in Lausanne

The current IOC HQ will eventually be supplanted by the Olympic Unity House

(Keystone)

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is marking 100 years of its establishment in Lausanne. Three days of festivities are planned in June to celebrate the occasion.

On April 10, 1915, the founder of the modern Olympic Movement, Pierre de Coubertin, decided to establish the headquarters of the IOC in Lausanne.

A century later, the celebrations programme was unveiled on Friday by the IOC’s German president Thomas Bach in the presence of the Swiss sports minister, Ueli Maurer, and the mayor of Lausanne, Daniel Brélaz.

A photo exhibition at landmark locations in Lausanne opened on Friday and will continue until October 15. An Olympic Day Run is scheduled for June 26 while open days are planned from June 27-28 at the IOC headquarters, the Olympic museum and other Olympic locations in Lausanne.

Lausanne will rename its lakeside metro terminus Ouchy to “Ouchy-Olympique” to commemorate the IOC’s long-standing links to the city.

“Pierre de Coubertin himself decided to establish the IOC in Lausanne. It was the right decision to take then and it still is now,” Bach said.

Sports minister Maurer said De Coubertin had brought to Switzerland not only the IOC but Olympic values and “created here a heart for international sport”.

He also pointed out that Swiss stability played a considerable role for world sport, as with Switzerland’s current efforts in the fight against manipulation in sport.

New premises

In December 2014, the IOC announced it was planning to consolidate its headquarters in Lausanne by constructing an Olympic Unity House in Vidy.

The entire IOC administration, comprising 500 people, will be brought under one roof. Construction of the building will begin early next year and is expected to cost around CHF200 million ($203.8 million).

According to an IOC statement, the city of Lausanne has granted it a lease for the new premises until 2115.

Besides the prestige associated with hosting the IOC and other international sporting bodies, Lausanne also benefits economically from them.

A study, commissioned by the IOC, the City of Lausanne and the Canton of Vaud, shows that the IOC and the 45 international sports federations based in Switzerland annually contribute CHF1.07 billion to the Swiss economy and CHF250 million to Lausanne alone.

swissinfo.ch and agencies

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