[Lausanne, the Olympic capital, race in honour of Lausanne’s ‘Olympicness’]
The Olympic rings have been officially associated with the city of Lausanne since 1993, the year when the Spaniard Juan Antonio Samaranch, president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) from 1980 to 2001 (and under whose stewardship the Olympic Movement became a big money generator, mainly thanks to television broadcasting rights – see the official revenue breakdown here), conferred the title of ‘Olympic Capital’ upon Lausanne. As a result, the Olympic rings have been incorporated into the city’s logo and they are displayed more or less prominently depending on the fashion of the day.
Yesterday evening I came across an interesting article in Le Nouvelliste, a French-speaking newspaper published in the canton of Valais/Wallis, chiefly about the financial impact of the many international sport federations whose headquarters are to be found in Switzerland. Entitled ‘The IOC acts as a magnet for sport federations’, this article starts by quoting a professor who taught sport law at the university of Neuchâtel (again, not Vaud*) and who draws a parallel between Geneva (home to so many international organisations) and Lausanne (home to so many international sport federations) and who warns that competition for the headquarters of international sport federations is fierce worldwide and that, consequently, one should not take their presence for granted.
The article is followed by two readers’ comments (as at 29 December). The last comment laments what the author sees as the decline of Lausanne in terms of street cleanliness, crime and architecture and cautions the authorities ‘not to rest on their laurels’; the author then urges the people of Lausanne to do something about it otherwise she fears that the international sport federations will decamp.
[Back door to the IOC’s Château de Vidy headquarters in Lausanne, 20 September 2014]
The year 2015 will mark the centenary of the relocation of the Olympic Movement from Paris to Lausanne; the International Olympic Committee recently unveiled the name of the architectural firm that will design its new headquarters, called the Olympic Unity House, at Lausanne-Vidy. As such, it is safe to assume that the many international sport federations whose headquarters are in Lausanne will remain here for a number of years, but one should never, ever take anything for granted…and rings are not always forever!
[Screenshot from www.3xn.com, winner of the IOC’s architectural contest for its new headquarters]
*This is probably because the canton of Vaud has the highest concentration of international sport federations in the world. 😉
- ‘Le CIO aimante les fédérations’ [‘The IOC acts as a magnet for sport federations’], Daniel Droz, Le Nouvelliste, 29 December 2014
- Sport anniversary in Lausanne (published on 10 April 2015 on the occasion of the centenary of the IOC’s relocation to Lausanne)