Sports activities in Lausanne the Olympic Capital, Canton of Vaud, Switzerland

In Lausanne, sport comes in all its dimensions. The City of Lausanne has hosted the International Olympic Committee (IOC) since 1915. More than 55 international sports federations and organizations have joined it. The status of Olympic Capital is reinforced by the hosting, in January 2020, of the Winter Youth Olympic Games. Lausanne is also building two new stadiums and taking care of its neighborhood infrastructure.

Lausanne is distinguished by the large number of international institutions linked to the sport it hosts. In the city has been since 1915 the seat of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), and about fifty international sports federations and organizations 10 as well as the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) and the European office of the World Anti-Doping Agency (AMA). The city has had the official title of “Olympic Capital” since 1993.

Lausanne has become over the years the administrative capital of sport. This status is reinforced by the possibility of following quality academic training in the field of sports management. Since 1915, Lausanne has been home to the headquarters of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the Court of Arbitration for Sport and the main institutions linked to the Olympic Movement, as well as some forty international sports federations. Lausanne was also the headquarters of the World Anti – Doping Agency until it moved to Montreal in 2002. In 1994, Lausanne was promoted to “Olympic capital”. All these factors make Lausanne the administrative capital of world sport. It is in Lausanne that the headquarters of the international federations of volleyball, rowing, archery, baseball, field hockey, fencing, table tennis, canoeing, swimming, bridge, gymnastics and athletics.

Several of these federations and other international sports organizations are grouped together at the Maison du sport international. There are several sports venues in Vidy including tennis, track and field rollerblading, a shooting range and a bowl. The city of Lausanne and the canton of Vaud organized the 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games, which took place from January 9 to 22, 2020. On July 31, 2015, the International Olympic Committee, during its 128 th session in Kuala Lumpur, focused its choice on the city of Lausanne against its only competitor, the Romanian city of Brașov. Lausanne will serve as an Olympic village and will host ice sports events: ice hockey, curling, figure skating, speed skating,short track speed skating

Lausanne is investing as it has never done before in its sports facilities, with the new Tuilière football stadium (inaugurated in 2020), the ice rink and swimming pool in Malley (2019) and the Pierre-de-Coubertin stadium., located in the sports and leisure area of Vidy.

Located in the north of the city, the Olympic Stadium of Pontaise still hosts football matches and the Athletissima meeting, every year in July. It will be replaced in 2020 by the new Tuilière stadium. This project is characterized by a particular shape: a rectangle with four raised corners, thus forming four entrance triangles. This stadium with a capacity of 12,000 seats is suitable for hosting national and international matches. It is next to a new sports center made up of nine football fields.

At the crossroads of the municipalities of Lausanne, Prilly and Renens, the new Malley sports center is born. The ice rink will host the Lausanne Hockey-Club matches from September 2019. The world hockey championships will take place there in 2020. The Olympic swimming pool and its diving pool will receive their first swimmers from the fall of 2020. This enclosure also includes rooms for table tennis and fencing.

The Pierre-de-Coubertin Stadium, named after the founder of the modern Olympic Games, is located in Vidy, near the lake. It has running and long jump tracks, as well as a throwing area. This is where the Athletissima meeting takes place after the demolition of the Pontaise stadium. To this end, the stadium will undergo a transformation from 2025 to allow it to accommodate 6,000 to 12,000 spectators.

The Pontaise Olympic stadium was built in 1954 and offers 15,800 seats, a football field and an athletics track. Each year it receives Athletissima, an international athletics competition. The Malley ice rink is located west of Lausanne, in the district of the same name. The ice rink has 9,500 seats and hosts ice hockey and figure skating tournaments, as well as concerts and shows. The city of Lausanne has three sites for the practice of urban sports.

IOC Headquarters
The International Olympic Committee has been established in Lausanne since 1915. The title of Olympic Capital was awarded to it in 1994. More than 50 federations and international sports organizations have made it their home, as well as the Court of Arbitration for Sport and the European office of the World Anti-Doping Agency.

In 1915, while the First World War was raging, Baron Pierre de Coubertin, President of the IOC, decided to establish the organization’s headquarters on neutral ground, in Switzerland. “In the independent and proud atmosphere that we breathe in Lausanne, Olympism will find the guarantee of freedom it needs to progress”, declared the renovator of the modern Olympic Games.

The IOC moved first to the casino of Montbenon, then to the villa Mon-Repos, and since 1968, to the castle of Vidy, on the shores of Lake Geneva. Its new headquarters are inaugurated on June 23, 2019. More than 600 employees work there to organize the Summer, Winter and Youth Games.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport, created in 1984, took up residence at the Château de Béthusy and will soon be set up at the Palais de Beaulieu. In 1993, the Olympic Museum was founded under the leadership of Juan Antonio Samaranch, then President of the IOC. It is the second most visited museum in Switzerland. Then, in 1994, Juan Antonio Samaranch awarded Lausanne the title of Olympic Capital. Founded in Lausanne in 1999, the World Anti-Doping Agency took up residence in Montreal, but maintained its European regional office in the Olympic Capital.

International sports federations
In addition to being the home port of international sports federations and organizations, Lausanne, Olympic Capital since 1994, is very proud to host the headquarters of the International Olympic Committee since Baron Pierre de Coubertin wanted from 1915.

Footsteps of Pierre de Coubertin
The information below shows Pierre de Coubertin (1 st January 1863 to September 2, 2013) who lived most of his life in Lausanne.

Lausanne train station
Our journey begins at the Lausanne station where Pierre de Coubertin arrived for the first time, no doubt in 1906. It was in that year that the Simplon tunnel was opened, which facilitates the passage from France to Italy, a Coubertin’s favorite destination.

The Palace of Rumine
In May 1913, Coubertin organized in Lausanne a congress of sports psychology and physiology. This conference, preceded by an annual meeting of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), is recognized as the 5 th Olympic Congress.

The Town Hall
At the start of the First World War, Coubertin alone decided to establish the official IOC headquarters in Lausanne. Previously, the IOC headquarters were at Coubertin’s home in Paris.

The Casino de Montbenon
As soon as the IOC moved to Lausanne, Coubertin asked the Municipality to make premises available for its Olympic Institute project to encourage popular sport and culture in cities.

Domaine de Dorigny
As early as 1906, Coubertin thought of establishing a permanent site for the Olympic Games on the shores of Lake Geneva.

Villa “Mon-Repos”
In 1922, Coubertin left Paris for good to settle in Lausanne. The following year, the Municipality lent him an apartment on the third floor of the “Mon-Repos” villa.

Château d’Ouchy
As soon as he retired from the IOC, Coubertin founded the Universal Pedagogical Union. Its headquarters are in Lausanne and there it organized at the Château d’Ouchy, in September 1926, a first conference on the educational role of the Modern City, which proclaimed for each citizen the “right to sport” and the “right of access to general culture”.

Bois-de-Vaux cemetery
Coubertin died in Geneva on September 2, 1937 of a heart attack in La Grange park.

Sporting events
Renowned events take place each year in Lausanne, popular with amateurs as well as the best athletes in the world. Major events include Athletissima or the Lausanne Marathon, as well as the popular Lausanne 20 km race, which brings together more than 25,000 participants.

Athletissima is an international athletics meeting created in 1977, and which since 2010 has been on the program of the Diamond League, circuit of the world elite. At the beginning of July, the best athletes on the planet compete, at the Pontaise stadium, in events such as the 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m, 1500m, 5000m, 100m and 400 m hurdles, triple jump, long jump, pole vault, high jump and javelin throw.

The Lausanne 20KMs were created under the impetus of the IOC President in 1982. The race is divided into twenty categories. More than 20,000 runners register each year. In 2017, Kenyan Alex Kibarus set a new event record in 59 minutes and 12 seconds. In 2020, the test is set for May 2 and 3.

The Lausanne Marathon was created in 1993 with the participation of 1522 runners. Since then, its size has only grown to exceed 15,000 participants. The three races (marathon, half-marathon and 10 km) take place on a Sunday in late October.

Other important sporting events still punctuate the Lausanne calendar, including the Lausanne triathlon (in August), Equissima (horseback riding, early September) or the Christmas Run.

Annual Sporting Events
The 20 km of Lausanne, a popular pedestrian race created in 1982 which takes place at the end of April. It is the third running race in Switzerland in number of participants.

Athletissima, an international athletics meeting created in 1977. It is one of the stages of the Diamond League since 2010. The event takes place at the Pontaise Olympic Stadium in July.

The Ladies Open Lausanne, a women’s clay tennis tournament on the WTA Tour circuit. The competition takes place at the Stade-Lausanne Tennis Club in Vidy in July. This tournament was created in 2019 to replace the Gstaadtournament.

The Lausanne Triathlon, a Triathlon created in 1994 which takes place in August or September.

The Lausanne Marathon, a pedestrian race created in 1993 which takes place at the end of October.

The Christmas Run, a pedestrian race created in 2007 under the name of Midnight Run, which takes place each year in December around the hill of the City, and which notably offers disguised races on the theme of Christmas.

Point Sporting Events
Many international championships take place in Lausanne such as curling, twirling, figure skating, classical dance, gymnastics, basketball, badminton, archery, orienteering and cycling. Lausanne has been a stage of the Tour de Romandie several times – a cycling race through Switzerland.

From July 10 to 16, 2011, the city organized Gymnaestrada, a world gymnastics meeting that takes place every four years.

From January 9 to January 22, 2020, Lausanne was the host city of the 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games. This 3 rd edition brought together 1880 athletes aged 15 to 18. The games counted 81 events in 16 disciplines. Lausanne hosted the figure skating, short track speed skating and ice hockey competitions in the Vaudoise arena sports complex. The Esplanade du Flon, located in the Flon district, hosted the medal ceremony. The Olympic Village was installed in the Vortex, a residential building of 712 ring-shaped apartments with an outside diameter of 137 meters. This building is now used as a residence for students on the campus of UNIL and EPFL

Clubs and associations
Lausanne has nearly 300 sports clubs and associations, which have more than 40,000 members, including nearly 30,000 licensees – which represents a high proportion in a total population of 145,000 inhabitants.. This offer allows the population to practice more than 70 different sports.

From mountaineering to yachting, indoor or outdoor sports, individually or in a team, the choice is vast and varied and allows everyone, whatever their level and physical form, to find what they are looking for. Lausanne notably has three tennis clubs, including that of Montchoisi, the oldest in Switzerland still in operation, a squash center, a badminton center, an equestrian center, two golf clubs. All the clubs and associations are listed by the City, which allows everyone to find the activity they want to practice, in the neighborhood that suits them.

Sports equipment is available in all parts of the city. Lausanne has fifteen sports centers, ten bowling alleys and ten swimming pools. In order to promote access to these infrastructures, some of them are open free of charge at the end of the day to residents of neighborhoods. The City is also developing numerous programs for access to sporting activity, such as the “sports-passion” program for Lausanne students or “sport’ouvert” for disadvantaged people. The City also promotes equality in the practice of sport and launches an action plan to deconstruct gender stereotypes in this area.

Finally, the City is equipping public spaces with urban fitness, Parkour and street work out facilities.

Another way to participate in sport is to register with the Lausanne Sports Volunteers (VSL). Hundreds of volunteers from this network actively contribute to the success of various sporting events in the city.

The city has two professional football clubs. The FC Lausanne-Sport is a professional club soccer founded in 1896 and based at stadium Pontaise in Lausanne. It is one of the most successful clubs in Switzerland and is currently playing in the Raiffeisen Super League, in the first division. From November 2020, the club will move to the new Stade de la Tuilière. The FC Stade-Lausanne-Ouchy is the second professional club in the city, founded in 2001 after the merger of FC Ouchy and FC Stade Lausanne and evolves in second Swiss division playing its home games at Olympic Stadium Pontaise.

The Lausanne Hockey Club (LHC) is an ice hockey club created in 1922 and based at the Malley ice rink. The Lausanne HC moves in the Swiss Championship ice hockey (1 st Division / LNA).

The Indians Lausanne Baseball Club is a baseball club created in 1990, the Lausanne University Club American Football (LUCAF) is an American football club created in 1987 and the Lausanne MB is a basketball club.

The Rowing Club Lausanne (created in 1878) and the Lausanne-Sports Aviron (created in 1916) are two rowing clubs based side by side in Vidy.

The Swiss power Wrestling Swiss wrestling federation is active in Lausanne since 2004and holds one of his wrestling school in Lausanne, located in the College of Bergières.

Stade-Lausanne, a multi-sports club founded in 1907 with nearly 2,200 members registered in various disciplines: athletics, football, field hockey, walking, rugby, tennis, located on the Vidy site in Lausanne.

Lausanne Amis-Gymnastes (AGL) is a gymnastics club, founded in 1884 with some 1,500 adult and child members.