2017 “An opportunity for the Region”

Antoine Pellaud, Sergei Aschwanden, and Simon Rouèche, site managers for Leysin, Villars and Les Diablerets for the YOG 2020. 
Image: Chantal Dervey

“Games for the youth, created by the youth”

“An opportunity for the region.” – “A spotlight.” Enthusiastic General Manager of the Youth Olympic Games (YOG) Lausanne 2020, Ian Logan hammered out the following speech: “These Games will be a great celebration. But, to be sure, the different destinations must be 100% behind them. “To ensure this, the organising committee wants to count on the involvement of local players. The eight regions that will host the various disciplines – including Lausanne, Morges, the Joux Valley, the Tuffes (F) or St. Moritz (GR) – have appointed site directors.

In Leysin (freestyle), Villars (skicross and ski-mountaineering) and Diablerets (alpine skiing), Antoine Pellaud, Sergei Aschwanden and Simon Rouèche will take on these roles. “The YOG Committee supports Olympic competitions. Our task will be to organise everything around the YOG: animations, initiations … “describes Simon Rouèche, snowboard instructor at Les Diablerets. “We are strongly encouraged to set up pre-Olympic races in our destinations,” adds Antoine Pellaud, director of Leysin sports centers. The goal is to reach out and arrive in January 2020 with a team of volunteers already well honed. “

The details of the concept remain to be defined and will depend on the budgets allocated by the Communes. “Each will define the means it wants to put towards the YOG, knowing that the goal is to create a large-sized event,” says Sergei Aschwanden, director of the Villars Tourism Office.

The first ideas are already there, however. At Diablerets, Simon Rouche imagines a small Olympic village at the foot of the Meilleret slopes. In Leysin or Villars, whose centers are farther away from the ski areas, the event will take place in stations, respectively on the Place du Marché and around the Tobogganing Park. But not only there,  “we will set up an initiation zone near the Olympic track”, announces Antoine Pellaud. The other stations will do the same to encourage young people to discover the sports presented.

“The vision of the IOC with this relatively young competition (note: it will be the 6th YOG, the 3rd winter) is to imagine “Games for the youth, created by the youth, “says Antoine Pellaud. For the site directors, “the challenge will be to get as many Vaud students as possible to attend these Games and get involved in one way or another,” notes Sergei Aschwanden. This is our future clientele. “In the Diablerets, a great race should take place in the wake of the Games: It’s certain that skiing on an Olympic track will make a strong impression. “

What will be the benefits of these Games? The question comes up frequently. “In any case, they will be beneficial for the image of the region,” says Villardou. “They allow an upgrade and development of sports facilities. Les Diablerets will have, for example, a track homologated by the FIS for future competitions. ” Antoine Pellaud also added:” Over the years, the Vaud Alps have lost this ability to organise major events. With the team set up for the YOG, we will recreate a committee organizing freestyle competitions. The efforts will not stop after the Games. “(24 hours)

Published: 27.12.2017, 09:30 by  David Genillard

Source: 24 Heures (en français)