The Olympic flame coming to Switzerland for Lausanne 2020
On September 17th, the Lausanne 2020 Olympic flame will be lit during a traditional ignition ceremony in Athens, Greece. The flame will then return to Switzerland, where it will embark on a tour stopping in each of the 26 cantons of the country before returning to Lausanne for a tradition torch relay in the Olympic Capital, in the lead up to the Opening Ceremony of the Games on January 9th, 2020.
It is an Olympic tradition, one that has been repeated for each celebration of the Olympic Games since 1936. In the lead up to each edition, the Olympic flame is lit in Greece, cradle of Olympism, by using the sun’s rays, a method which symbolically guarantees its purity. A torch specifically designed for this occasion is lit and commences a long journey from Greece to the next Olympic city.
After having returned to Switzerland from its ignition ceremony in Athens, the Lausanne 2020 Torch Tour will start on September 21stin Lausanne. It will then successively head to all 26 cantons throughout Switzerland where it will be displayed to the public. The tour will visit iconic sites including, among others, Zermatt (VS), St-Moritz (GR), the Swiss Parliament in Bern (BE), the United Nations Headquarters in Geneva (GE), and Château de Chillon (VD). The flame will then return to Lausanne, where a torch relay will take place before the Opening Ceremony of the Winter Youth Olympic Games.
The Lausanne 2020 Torch Tour is done in full collaboration with Swiss Olympic, the National Olympic Committee of Switzerland.
Jürg Stahl, President of Swiss Olympic: “The Torch Tour finally lights the fire for the 2020 Youth Olympic Games in Lausanne. This event is a tremendous opportunity to engage with the youth of Switzerland and to live the Olympic spirit with them. At each stage, we will celebrate together the Olympic values of respect, friendship and excellence, that remain extremely relevant today.”
Virginie Faivre, President of Lausanne 2020: “The Lausanne 2020 torch tour is the unique opportunity to bring the Olympic spirit to all regions of Switzerland for the first time in more than 70 years, since the Olympic flame was last lit, in St. Moritz in 1948. We are so proud to be taking the torch to all 26 cantons where communities will be able to engage with the spirit of the Youth Olympic Games in the lead up to Lausanne 2020.”