Logo course capitale olympiqueLausanne capitale olympique

Today, I took part in Lausanne’s very first ‘Course capitale olympique’, which was meant to celebrate the ‘Olympicness’ of Lausanne as well as honour the departing president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Jacques Rogge, who is also based in Lausanne.

Merci M. Rogge_Lausanne course capitale olympique_24 juin 2013Banner in French saying Thank you, Mr Rogge

Although I am really not a fan of either the Olympic Games (by far, I prefer the concept of Nicolas Cupérus, a contemporary of Pierre de Coubertin, who strongly opposed the idea of competition in gymnastic sporting events), which for me are synonymous with big money, with sports as a spectacle (in the sense of the French philosopher Guy Debord or in the Roman sense of panem et circenses) and too often also with the waste of money that goes into building over-sized sporting installations at the city hosting the Games, or of Mr Rogge (although this is only based on his tepid thanks to London at the last Olympics as I do not know enough about him to be able to pass any judgment on him, unlike for his predecessor, whom I disliked profoundly), I decided that I would take part in this run (technically, it was not a ‘race’ as there would be no ‘winner’ or timing of the run) primarily because it would be the opportunity to run along the lakeside without any cars around. Anyhow, here are a few photos of ‘Course capitale olympique’ which I shot mostly while running.

Départ course capitale olympique_24 juin 2013

The 5km-long run started at Tour Haldimand, a fake tower ruin which was built in the 19th century. Participants in ‘Course capitale olympique’ were asked to wear the free white T-shirt which had been given to them so as to emphasise (I suppose) the loss of individuality during this event in the common goal of celebrating the Olympic values (which are listed here).

Lausanne course capitale olympique_24 juin 2013

The first landmark related to the Olympic movement we passed along was the Fountain of the Olympic Museum (the museum is being renovated presently, but some of the collections are on display on a boat anchored almost opposite the museum): see bottom right photograph.

Lausanne course capitale olympique_Ouchy to Bellerive_24 juin 2013

Then just after passing the castle of Ouchy, we were able to salute (for those who wanted to) Mr Rogge, other IOC officials as well as representatives of Lausanne, who were all standing in front of the countdown clock to the next Olympic Games (winter and summer) which had been unveiled at place de la navigation before the run. We then continued along the yacht and CGN boat harbours and the swimming pool at Bellerive (bottom right photo) until we reached Vidy.

Lausanne course capitale olympique_COI  jusqu'à arrivée_24 juin 2013

The next landmark was the headquarters of the International Olympic Committee (top left photo) and the stadium Pierre-de-Coubertin, a little after which we crossed the finish line and we were rewarded with some refreshments and a bun with chocolate. What I enjoyed most about the race was the lack of competitive spirit and the family atmosphere as I saw many a time a mother or a father running with her/his daughter/son. In addition, there were also senior runners and I had the impression that there were far more female runners than in standard races. According to datasport (the firm that took the registrations), there were 1,027 runners who had registered. I estimate that there must have been some 600 to 800 people who took part in this 5km run.

Lausanne countdown clock to Olympic Games 2016

On my way back I was able to admire the countdown clock whilst the IOC reception in Mr Rogge’s honour was still being held on the grounds of château d’Ouchy in the back. This side of the clock shows the countdown to the next summer Olympics; the other side shows that to the winter Olympics with the respective sports represented on each side by pictograms.


I decided to get back home the same way as I had done to reach the start of the run, i.e. by running, so as to get extra practice for the half-marathon I shall be running in the mountains of Valais this Sunday — there is a rather steep run back home from Ouchy.

PS I continue to believe that Lausanne should emphasise that it is a seat of learning (Lausanne boasts a decent university, one of the best institutes of technology in Europe, EPFL, plus a world famous hotel school) as much as an Olympic capital city, but this is only my viewpoint  😉


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