The International Olympic Committee (IOC) released the report of the Evaluation Commission for the 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games bids on Tuesday, one month ahead of the election of the host city set for a Session in Kuala Lumpur on July 31. Brasov, Romania and Lausanne, Switzerland – the so-called Olympic Capital as it is the site of the IOC headquarters, are the two cities competing to host the third edition of the Games.
This was the first Youth Olympic Games evaluation report under new Agenda 2020 reforms passed by the IOC last year – and like the equivalent report for the Winter Games released in May – the format is more constructive offering voting members “opportunities/strengths” and “risk/challenges” columns for reference.
The Commission, led by Chinese IOC member and Olympic Champion Yang Yang, met the bid committees twice – once in person and the second by teleconference – and referenced the bids’ application files to build the report.
According to an IOC statement, “Brasov’s vision is to increase Romania’s visibility around the world, improve its capacity to organise large-scale events and develop its winter sports.”
“Brasov also seeks to educate young people in the Olympic spirit and increase awareness of the need for sustainable development.
“Lausanne’s vision is to create a laboratory for innovation and ideas produced by and for young people, while contributing to the development of the Olympic Movement for future generations.”
The report Lauded Brasov’s proposed use of temporary venues and the existing transportation, infrastructure and offering of free services during the Games. However, the IOC indicated that some information was missing or incorrectly provided such as hotel price and availability guarantees and some budget element.
There is also concern that three competition venues representing 30% of the athletes are too remote, up to 70 minutes away from the Olympic Village.
Brasov has proposed a balanced $17.6 million (USD) that the IOC says was inflated by 40% after three new sports – curling, speed skating and halfpipe – were added. This, according to the report, adds additional delivery risks to the overall plans.
Lausanne plans to balance the budget at $42.2 million, and hold alpine ski events in nearby France. The report describes some logistical challenges working with a second government and NOC in France, especially with respect marketing, security and legal issues,
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the location of the IOC’s headquarters in Lausanne by Baron Pierre de Coubertin.
The report also noted concerns about clarity of hotel pricing guarantees and the tight timeline of the delivery of the ice venues that could pose a risk. Overall, the IOC was impressed with Lausanne’s fit with Agenda 2020 in it’s use of existing and temporary venues.
It will now be up to the IOC members, after watching final presentations at their 128th Session next month, to vote for the host of the 2020 Winter YOG.