Lausanne, Switzerland, home to the headquarters of the International Olympic Committee, will host the third Winter Youth Olympic Games in 2020 after
the city was chosen Friday.
Lausanne defeated Brasov, Romania, 71-10 in a vote of IOC members and will become the third European city to stage the quadrennial event, following Innsbruck, Austria, in 2012 and Lillehammer, Norway, next February. Both Innsbruck (1964) and Lillehammer (1994) also hosted the Olympic Winter Games. Lillehammer was also the site of the Paralympic Winter Games in 1994, while Innsbruck hosted the Paralympics in 1984 and 1988.
Lake Placid, New York, host of the 1932 and 1980 Winter Games, and Sofia, Bulgaria, also had expressed interest in staging the event but never submitted formal applications.
The Youth Olympic Games, which serve as an introduction to Olympism for the youth of the world, host all of the same sports as the Olympic Games, but with fewer events. The program also typically includes events new to any type of Olympic program, including monobobsled, and mixed nation and mixed gender events. The Games are limited to athletes 15 to 18 years old.
Switzerland is a common stop along the various winter sports world cup circuits, such as alpine and Nordic skiing, bobsled, luge and skeleton, as well as snowboarding.
Here are five things to know about Lausanne:
1. The decision returns an Olympic competition to Switzerland for the first time since 1948, when St. Moritz hosted the Winter Games. It also hosted the Winter Games in 1928.
2. Besides the IOC, Lausanne also is home to 16 other international sports federations whose sports are part of the Olympic program, such as field hockey, figure and speedskating, swimming, table tennis and volleyball. It also serves as the headquarters for the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), which hears sports disputes such as doping cases.
3. With the location of Lausanne along the shore of Lake Geneva, Games organizers have proposed staging the cross-country skiing, biathlon, Nordic combined and ski jumping events across the Les Tuffes in Jura, France, and Chaux-Neuve, France, both about an hour away.
4. Lausanne has a population of about 133,000, making it the fourth-largest city in Switzerland.
5. Although founded in Paris in 1894, the IOC moved to Lausanne in 1915 and has been headquartered there since.
Brian Trusdell has covered four FIFA World Cups and six Olympic Games during his more than 30 years as a sportswriter, mostly with the Associated Press and Bloomberg News. He is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.