A look ahead to the Lausanne 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games

New sports and plenty of innovation: Here's a little taster for the next YOG

As the dust settles on a memorable Buenos Aires 2018, the attention now turns north.

The third Winter Youth Olympic Games will be held in the so-called "Olympic Capital" of Lausanne, and organisers are excited to build upon the momentum from Argentina.

There will be new sports, a new programme featuring mixed competition and plenty more.

Here we take a look at what's in store for Lausanne 2020.

Next up: Winter Youth Olympic Games 2020 in Lausanne

Next up: Winter Youth Olympic Games 2020 in Lausanne

The key numbers

  • The event will run from 9-22 January 2020.
  • 1,880 athletes between the ages of 15 and 18 will take part.
  • There will be 16 disciplines across eight sports.
  • Over 3,000 volunteers will help to power the Games.

Three regions, two countries

Unlike Buenos Aires 2018, Lausanne 2020's venues will be spread out over more than one city.

Lausanne will host the Youth Olympic village, medal ceremonies and the ice sports of ice hockey, short track speed skating and figure skating.

Alpine skiing, ski mountaineering, freestyle skiing and snowboarding will take place in they Vaud Alps, while curling will take place in Champery.

The Nordic skiing events will take place in the Vallee de Joux, and ski jumping, biathlon and Nordic combined will be hosted at the Tuffes site in neighbouring France.

Bobsleigh, skeleton, luge and speed skating will take place in St. Moritz.

Lindsey Vonn is an ambassador for Lausanne 2020.
Lindsey Vonn is an ambassador for Lausanne 2020.Lindsey Vonn is an ambassador for Lausanne 2020.

Gender equality

Lausanne 2020 will pick up where Buenos Aires 2018 left off, with a completely gender equal event.

This means equal numbers of men and women will compete for the medals... and there will be some exciting new disciplines to reflect the increased female participation (see below!).

New sports and innovation

Ski mountaineering is the most radical new sport to be approved for the Lausanne 2020 programme.

The lung-busting new addition involves scaling mountains on skis (or carrying them depending on the severity of the ascent), before skiing back down.

Some fresh, new disciplines have also been introduced to reflect innovation and gender equality.

They include mixed-nationality 3x3 ice hockey, a women's doubles competition in luge and a women's Nordic combined ski event.

"The confirmed event programme means full gender balance the first time at a Winter Olympic event, with the highest number of women’s events and women ever competing at the Winter YOG," said an IOC statement.

Lausanne's lasting legacy

A key part of Lausanne's plan is ensuring that Switzerland will benefit from hosting the event after it has finished.

The VORTEX, which was constructed to accommodate the Olympic Village, will be turned into student accommodation at the Games' conclusion.

Approximately 1,200 university students and academic guests will benefit from this extra housing.

The legacy will also provide a much-needed boost to sports infrastructure in French-speaking Switzerland.

The Espace Malley venue is being redeveloped with a new Olympic swimming pool, 9,700 capacity ice rink, table tennis and fencing facilities - all of which will be accessible to local athletes free of charge for 20 years.

In addition to new facilities, sports management training and a new regional Short Track speed skating programme will also be on offer.

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