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Swiss bid Lausanne to host 2020 Youth Olympic Winter Games

Supporters in Lausanne celebrate the news of the winning Olympic bid

(Keystone)

The city of Lausanne in western Switzerland was chosen to host the 2020 Youth Olympic Winter Games by members of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) at a vote in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur on Friday.

Lausanneexternal link, known locally as the Olympic Capital, home to the IOCexternal link and numerous other international sports federations, beat the city of Brasov in Romania in Friday’s vote. 

Lausanne won the ballot in a landslide, collecting 71 votes to 10.

"This year we are celebrating the 100-year anniversary of the IOC's presence in Lausanne," IOC president Thomas Bach told reporters.

The 2020 games will be the third edition of the Winter Youth Olympics, a major international multi-sport event and cultural festival for young people aged 15-18. The youth games external linkwere invented in 1998 in response to growing global concerns about childhood obesity and the dropping participation of youth in sport activities, especially amongst youth in developed nations. 

The Lausanne tournament will have a budget of CHF37 million, two-thirds covered by the federal authorities. It is expected to attract 1,200 young athletes and their families. 

The winter events, featuring seven sports from the Winter Games, will be split between Lausanne (ice skating and ice hockey), Vaud Alps (downhill skiing and snowboard) and the Joux Valley in the Jura Mountains (cross-country skiing). Acrobatic skiing will be held at Les Tuffes in nearby France. 

The Youth Olympic Games take place every four years in winter and summer. Previous winter tournaments were awarded to Innsbruck (2012) and Lillehammer (planned for 2016). Summer games were held in Singapore (2010) and Nanjing (2014) and are planned for Buenos Aires (2018). 

Although much smaller than the traditional games, these will be the first winter Olympics to be held in Switzerland since 1948 in St Moritz. 

Previous plans for Winter Olympics in Switzerland have all failed over fears about the financial and environmental costs. Most recently in 2013 voters in canton Graubünden vetoed a local candidacy for the Winter Olympics in 2022. 

On Friday Beijing defeated Almaty, Kazakhstan, to host the 2022 Winter Olympics, becoming the first city awarded both the winter and summer games. 

swissinfo.ch

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