This was going to be a historic year for the sport of surfing. Journalists at The New York Times spoke with the world’s top surfers to go behind the scenes as the sport prepares to make its Olympic debut … next year.
Watch the videos from NY Times –
This was going to be a historic year for the sport of surfing. Journalists at The New York Times spoke with the world’s top surfers to go behind the scenes as the sport prepares to make its Olympic debut … next year.
Watch the videos from NY Times –
Since their inception in 2010, the YOG have been a testing ground for new ideas. They are known for introducing new sports and event formats, some of which have been included also in the Olympic Games. For example, the YOG pioneered mixed-gender events such as triathlon mixed relay, which will also appear at Tokyo 2020. Lausanne 2020 will take this innovative attitude to new levels, showcasing new sports and events such as ski mountaineering and women’s Nordic combined.
The Lausanne 2020 plan is based on five commitments for the long-term impact of the YOG: to empower youth; develop sport; promote Olympism; foster innovative and sustainable solutions; and create new, lasting partnerships.
“FOR YOUTH, BY YOUTH AND WITH YOUTH”
The Organising Committee’s commitment to empowering young people has led to a YOG edition “for youth, by youth and with youth”.
This mantra has fuelled the entire project, with young people actively involved in the preparation and delivery of the event. As well as engaging the local youth population in the Games, this approach has enhanced their skills and provided valuable work experience.
Building on the legacy of Buenos Aires 2018, nearly 150,000 students from local schools, colleges and universities have so far contributed to the delivery of the Winter YOG Lausanne 2020. Their roles have included designing key Games elements such as the official mascot, the Olympic cauldron, the medal trays and the podiums.
Students have composed the official song, created the overall “Look of the Games”, and contributed to the development of the volunteer programme and food and beverage offerings for athletes. This unique approach to youth engagement has underlined the status of the YOG as an incubator for new ideas and an opportunity to test innovative concepts.
Eighty thousand schoolchildren will attend the YOG as part of an initiative to promote sport and healthy lifestyles. They will also have the opportunity to take part in the En Jeux! cultural festival being held alongside the YOG, where they will get to participate in sports tasters and workshops, with the goal of encouraging regular physical activity.
In addition, Lausanne 2020 will implement athlete education as a key part of its strategy.
The Athlete365 Education Programme, run by the IOC in collaboration with the University of Lausanne and other partners, focuses on setting athletes up for success after the Games. Athletes will learn about their physical strengths and weaknesses through muscular, skeletal and postural analyses. Based on the results of these examinations, they will receive recommendations on how to tailor their training around their individual physiology to avoid injury. Alongside this analysis, they will develop skills essential for longevity in the world of sport, including media relations and career management.
There will also be sessions on the importance of the Olympic values (excellence, friendship and respect) and anti-doping. A diverse group of Athlete Role Models will be on hand too, to support the young athletes throughout the Games.
INTRODUCING NEW MEASURES
From a logistical point of view, Lausanne 2020 will see the introduction of new measures, including the experimental “two-wave” system, which will see athletes stay at the YOG in two groups, the first attending the Opening Ceremony and the second attending the Closing Ceremony. This approach allows for an overall increase in the number of participating athletes – leading to greater diversity – without requiring any further financial investment.
These cost savings align with the IOC’s Olympic Agenda 2020/New Norm measures, which
offer increased flexibility, shaping each Games around the long-term goals of host cities and using them as a catalyst for sustainable development.
With this approach in mind, Lausanne 2020 developed a lower-cost, more sustainable plan that takes advantage of existing facilities. Each new or newly renovated venue has a long-term role to play in the region’s development plans.
YOG WITHOUT BORDERS
This plan led to Lausanne 2020 becoming the first bi-national YOG, with several events being held across the border in the French Jura. Not only did this avoid building unnecessary temporary infrastructure; it has also increased collaboration within Switzerland and across its borders. The Swiss National Olympic Committee has signed a cross-border agreement meaning that athletes from both regions will benefit from talent development programmes held in the venues for the next 20 years at least.
Events will also be spread across three Swiss cantons – Graubünden, Valais and Vaud – based on where the most suitable facilities already exist. For example, the bobsleigh, luge and skeleton competitions will be held in St Moritz, the host city of the 1928 and 1948 Olympic Winter Games.
ACCELERATING REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT
The redevelopment of the Vaudoise Arena, the venue for ice hockey, figure skating, short track speed skating and the Opening Ceremony, was already part of the region’s long-term development goals. Its renovation was accelerated in order to be ready on time for the YOG. The Vaudoise Arena is the new home of Lausanne Hockey Club and will be used for future sports events, including the 2020 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championships.
The construction of the Vortex building that will house the Lausanne Youth Olympic Village is another example of a pre-existing infrastructure project fast-tracked by Lausanne’s hosting of the YOG. This distinctive ring-shaped complex will be used as student housing for the University of Lausanne after the Games, providing a lasting legacy for higher education in the region. It is located near multiple public transport lines, helping to facilitate sustainable mobility both during the YOG and beyond.
A key pillar of Vaud’s sports and tourism development strategy, the redevelopment of Les Diablerets ski resort was also accelerated to be ready for the Games. This International Ski Federation (FIS)-certified venue hosted the FIS Ladies Europa Cup Alpine combined and super-G races in January 2019 and will continue to host international skiing events in future. The neighbouring ski resort of Leysin has also used the opportunity of the Games to redevelop its snowpark, putting itself firmly on the freestyle map in Switzerland, with ambitions to regularly host international junior competitions in the years to come.
COMMITTED TO SUSTAINABILITY
In line with Lausanne 2020’s commitment to sustainability, several events in St Moritz – speed skating, bobsleigh, skeleton and luge – will make Youth Olympic history by taking place on natural ice for the first time. Speed skaters will compete outside on a natural frozen lake, while the other ice events will be held on the only natural – and the oldest – bobsleigh track in the world, the historic Olympic Bob Run.
To further reduce the environmental footprint of the YOG, the Organising Committee has committed to reducing the use of plastic for food and drink at all the official sites. Organisers have also held a series of citywide clean-up “plogging” events – following a Swedish concept that combines jogging and picking up litter.
For the first time at an Olympic tournament, athletes will use public transport to get to their events, helping to reduce the carbon emissions associated with the YOG. Fans are also being encouraged to use local trains and buses to reach the venues, with a purpose-built transport app to guide them.
Accessibility for all is also high on Lausanne 2020’s agenda. The YOG will feature dedicated information platforms to help people with reduced mobility. Through these platforms, they can find out how to access specific sports venues. In addition, Swiss public transport companies will organise specific transport plans for people with reduced mobility to help them move between venues.
Even before the lighting of the cauldron, the Youth Olympic flame has been making its way around all 26 Swiss cantons, its journey supported by a fleet of zero-emission hydrogen fuel cell cars provided by Worldwide Olympic Partner Toyota.
TOWARDS PARIS 2024
The Winter YOG Lausanne 2020 will provide a glimpse into the future of the Olympic Games – not only through the potential of the young athletes competing, but also through the innovative planning and delivery of the Games themselves.
To support this goal, the Lausanne 2020 Organising Committee has signed an agreement with the Olympic Games Paris 2024. By sharing best practices and lessons learnt on topics such as legacy and sustainability, the aim is to ensure that the legacy created by Lausanne 2020 carries on and benefits future Olympic hosts.
At last year’s Olympics, Siobhan-Marie O’Connor was one of the stars of the GB swimming team where she won a silver medal in the 200m Individual Medley (IM). The 22-year-old first burst onto the international swimming scene in 2011, when she went to the World Championships in Shanghai and placed 13th in the 200m Individual Medley. O’Connor was the youngest GB swimmer competing at the 2012 Olympics and she qualified for the 100m breaststroke, where she finished in 21st place but soon after her first Olympic experience she would be diagnosed with a long-term health condition.
O’Connor opened up about her diagnosis, “I was diagnosed in September 2012, just after I competed in London. I had active colitis for about year and during this time it was wrongly diagnosed as IBS. Before I went in for the proper tests, I was really unwell and suffering from lots of debilitating symptoms. Once I received the diagnosis it took about 6 months to get my symptoms under control.
“It took me a long time to come to terms with the condition and to realise that I am not the same as my teammates but I have learnt that every athlete is completely different and I have to do what works for me. I have to adapt my training a lot and I have to continuously do so as my health goes through ups and downs. It’s a hard balance between pushing myself hard to improve but also not pushing so hard that I break down because I have a weak immune system, I pick up viruses and other illnesses really easily so I have to be more cautious than most other athletes,” she added.
However, this did not stop the swimmer from competing at the highest level, when at the 2013 World Championships she made the final of the 200m IM, finishing in 8th place. The 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow was O’Connor’s breakthrough competition with three individual medals, including gold in the 200m IM, and three relay medals. Nevertheless it was not all plain sailing for the Bath based swimmer who had a flare up during the competition, “I had a flare up after the Commonwealth games in 2014 and I was due to compete at Europeans two weeks after but because it was quite a bad flare, I had to weigh up whether it was worth making my health worse by going and competing, or whether to come home and get better. I had swum really well at the Commonwealth Games and that was my main goal for the year so I decided that I didn’t want to make my health worse, and to come back and get healthy and ready for the next season.”
Being one of the top swimmers in her event, means travelling to many different places to compete such as the World Championships and the Olympic Games. At the 2015 World Championships in Kazan, O’Connor had her most successful Worlds campaign coming away with a bronze medal in the 200m IM and she was part of the inaugural mixed 4x100m Medley relay where Great Britain won the gold medal in a world record time. Although travelling to and from competitions comes with its own set of problems. “I really struggle with travel, flying and lack of sleep/rest make me run down and I tend to get ill after travelling long haul, if I don’t sleep enough.”
In order to get the best performance at last year’s Olympics, lots of planning went into the travel between the training camps and the start of the Games. “When I went to Rio, the journey had been planned really well so that we had an overnight stop and travelled during the day so we weren’t travelling for so long in one go and didn’t miss any sleep. This benefitted me a huge amount. I try to make sure in the lead up to a long haul flight I do everything I can to make sure I am healthy before I travel and well rested, and that I sleep and rest as much as possible when I get there afterwards.” This clearly worked well as O’Connor claimed a silver medal in the 200m IM and beat her previous British record, setting a best of 2.06.88.
Having competed in the sport for longer with her illness than without, I ask what she has learnt from having colitis, “I have been really well looked after with my colitis through sport. Whenever I have any increase in symptoms I can see a doctor straight away and if I need to have treatment I have access to it really quickly which is great so I never feel worried in that sense. However I do feel that as an athlete you want to be in control of all aspects of your performance and my health is something that I don’t feel like I have complete control over and I find that really frustrating but I have gotten good at dealing with it as best as I can.”
O’Connor added, “Having this condition as an athlete is really tough and I wish I didn’t have it, but it has taught me some really valuable lessons and it makes me appreciate doing well a lot more. Every athlete has something they have to deal with throughout their career, whether it’s an injury or a different type of setback, and this is just something I have to deal with the best I can!”
The 22-year-old had a tough competition at this year’s World Championships, where she placed seventh in the 200m IM final and finished fifth as part of the 4x100m mixed medley relay but preparation for next season has already begun. The main focus for many athletes is the Commonwealth Games in April and O’Connor will be looking to retain her titles and add to her medal haul.
“Sport has definitely taught me how to be resilient and tough and that I do have the ability to bounce back after a setback in my health, which I have gained through being able to come back from failures in performance.”
Words – Nicola Kenton
Original article – https://nicolakenton.wordpress.com/2017/12/23/siobhan-marie-oconnor-swimming-with-ulcerative-colitis/
Setting off from outside the Museum of Science and Industry, the parade will enter the Liverpool Road junction of Deansgate at 4.30pm before completing a route through the city centre, ending in Albert Square.
The family-friendly event has been timed to allow as many people as possible to enjoy the celebration.
The parade is expected to last around one hour taking in the length of Deansgate, Huntsbank, Todd Street, Corporation Street, Exchange Square, Cross Street and finally Albert Square.
The parade and finale from Albert Square will also be broadcast on big screens within the city centre so that people can see as much of the athletes as possible.
More people than ever want to get started in gymnastics.
The historical success of British gymnasts at The Games has triggered enormous interest from the public wanting to get involved. Compared to the same period last year visits to our website www.DiscoverGymnastics.uk, is up a staggering 380%, with 68k visits in just 13 days!
There are huge spikes in interest in the Olympic disciplines but interest is up right across the spectrum of activities. Fresh off the back of Bryony Page’s performance of a lifetime in the trampoline finals, people looking to discover trampoline gymnastics has increased by an astonishing 511% (from the same period last year). Whilst the interest in adult gymnastics is up an incredible 838%.
Participation Director at British Gymnastics, David Marshall:
“It’s fantastic to see so many people wanting to get into gymnastics and great to see it’s not only the younger generation but the appeal is right across the board. Gymnastics is so much fun and has opportunities for everybody, regardless of age, gender, ability, or ambition. Our desire is of course to capitalise on The Olympic Games and we’ve been planning for this uplift for some time. We saw significant rise in participation following London with membership up 100,000 in four years and there are now 1.1 million people taking part in gymnastics, with 327,000 holding British Gymnastics membership. Our challenge but opportunity is how we can try to meet the enormous demand inspired by the Olympic Games. We are well placed to do this with a new, easy-to-implement, recreational gymnastics offer and complimentary coaching qualification. Our goal is to make it easier than ever for providers to deliver recreational gymnastics.”
During The Games, gymnastics also ignited the passion of TV audiences, with 22.2 million watching the BBC coverage on Sunday with a 10.4milllion peak for Max Whitlock’s second gold medal.
British Gymnastics CEO, Jane Allen, said:
“The surge in interest has clearly been driven by the inspirational performances of the athletes and success of our British gymnasts which have been viewed by millions thanks to the BBC. We remain committed to continuing to meet the increased participation demands as well as entertaining new legions of gymnastics fans with live events staged in the UK”.
Our men’s and women’s artistic British Championships will certainly be a hot ticket with our gymnastics heroes returning and competing on home soil. The journey to Tokyo 2020 will in many ways start here. There are more exciting events to come in 2017, an exciting World Cup with international stars from Rio and our Trampoline British Championships which will certainly give our Rio stars a hero’s welcome. There are many other opportunities throughout the year to see gymnastics live. Our newsletter,Facebook and Twitter accounts will keep you up do date. (hyperlink)
Great Britain slipped to a 4-1 defeat at the hands of old foes Belgium in their opening match of the Olympic Games. Belgium led via an early goal from Jerome Truyens and despite a thunderous strike from Nick Catlin which levelled the scores at half time, a stellar second half display from the Red Lions handed them the points. Goals in quick succession in the third quarter from Tanguy Cosyns and Simon Gougnard did the damage before Cedric Charlier put the gloss on the scorewith a late fourth.
Great Britain almost scored from the first play of the match. A long aerial from Iain Lewers found Alastair Brogdon all alone in the circle but he couldn’t bring the ball under control. At the other end, Belgium won a penalty corner in the second minute. They moved the ball to Gauthier Boccard but he blazed his shot over the bar. Brogdon was causing the Belgian defence problems in the final third and his snap shot forced a good save from Vincent Vanasch. With six minutes gone, Great Britain fell behind. Shane McLeod’s side turned the ball over high up the pitch and Truyens broke into the circle to smash home for the first goal.
George Pinner performed heroics to keep the score to 1-0 with a fine block from Charlier and then produced a smart piece of stick work to deny Truyens a second. Just before quarter time, Belgium lost Sebastien Dockier after he was struck on the head with the ball.
Belgium started the second quarter well with Florent Van Aubel drawing another save from Pinner in the opening minutes. Bobby Crutchley’s team built a good spell of pressure but despite some mesmerising skills from Barry Middleton they couldn‘t get the final pass right. Just before the break, Great Britain got themselves on the board with a splendid goal. Ashley Jackson won the ball in midfield and fed Catlin who turned the defender inside out before unleashing a rocket strike past Vanasch to make it 1-1 at half time.
Belgium re-established their lead three minutes after the break from a well-worked penalty corner which set up Cosyns to find the net and then just moments later they made it 3-1 via a bullet strike from Gougnard. The third goal was harsh on Pinner who had made a fine save in the build up only for Gougnard to be allowed space to beat him with the follow-up.
In the final quarter Great Britain’s giant goalkeeper was called upon once again, this time gloving away a penalty corner from Loick Luypaert. With Great Britain struggling to create clear chances Belgium sealed the win with five minutes left thanks to Charlier’s close range effort. Crutchley’s side had a chance of a consolation with a last minute penalty corner but Jackson’s shot was deflected over the bar by a defender and Belgium took the three points.
Great Britain’s next match is Sunday at 21:00 vs. New Zealand, live on BBC Sport.
The Games of the XXXI Olympiad are officially open following the Opening Ceremony at the famous Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro.
Acting President of Brazil Michel Temer declared the Games officially open with around 11,000 athletes set to compete for the 306 gold medals across 28 sports.
Defending Olympic Champion Andy Murray led the Team GB delegation into the samba-fuelled ceremony before marathon runner Vanderlei Cordeiro de Lima lit the Olympic Flame, kicking off the 16 days of sporting competition in Brazil.
Team GB’s 366-strong team, set to compete across 23 sports, is the biggest travelling delegation since Barcelona 1992 and sees 151 athletes and 65 medallists return from four years ago at London 2012.
Andy Murray (Tennis) said: “It was amazing to get to carry the flag and but also be around the rest of the British team and chat to the guys. It’s been a really nice atmosphere and I’m obviously really proud to get the opportunity.
“My first thought was ‘don’t drop it’ and I was gripping onto the flag really tight. Then I was just trying to take it all in. The size of the stadium was incredible.”
Kat Driscoll (Trampoline) said: “That was such an incredible experience. It was nice to be able to be a home nation in London but being part of the carnival here was amazing and completely different. Everyone’s buzzing and really happy that it’s finally started.”
Tim Kneale (Shooting) said: “The whole build-up was exciting with everyone getting dressed up and meeting outside British House made it all feel quite real. Then we all cheered when Andy picked the flag up and walking out with the whole team and hearing the crowd and hearing Great Britain being called out was fantastic.”
Justin Rose (Golf) said: “I wouldn’t necessarily get in this early for a tournament but I really wanted to get in for the Opening Ceremony and thought it would be the highlight of the week.
“It was a great to be part of a bigger Team GB as a whole and meet the whole team. It’s a long night but means you get to meet so many people and get to know their stories so all in all a really fun night.”
Fiona Pennie (Canoe Slalom) said: “It was really exciting and everyone was going wild. There was a lot to take in when you first march in but it was a great experience. It’s down to the racing now and I’m looking forward to watching the boys this Sunday before my own competition on Monday.”
Chef de Mission Mark England said: “It was a very proud moment for the athletes to step out into one of the world’s great sporting arenas. It was everything we hoped it would be – vibrant, colourful and energetic.
“The team loved it and it has given them a real boost ahead of the competition. It was great to see our senior athletes step up and show their support.”
The first Team GB athletes in action at Rio 2016 were actually in competition earlier in the day as archers Patrick Huston and Naomi Folkard contested the ranking round.
Huston had the honour of being the very first Brit to compete and the 20-year-old from Belfast finished 38th out of the 64 archers and will face the Netherlands’ Rick Van der Ven in the first knock-out round on Wednesday.
Folkard, competing in her fourth Olympic Games, finished in 23rd and will face Ika Rochmawati of Indonesia on Tuesday.
Jen McIntosh will become the first Team GB athlete to compete for a medal at Rio 2016 in the women’s 10m Air Rifle as Day 1 of Rio 2016 gets underway.
The day also sees the historic return of rugby to the Olympic programme and the sevens format is set to make its debut at Rio 2016. Team GB’s women will be in action, taking on Japan and hosts Brazil in the first of two days of pool matches before Monday’s finals.
All eyes will turn to the Copacabana later in the day as the men’s road race concludes with Chris Froome looking to add to his third Tour de France victory last month with gold in the men’s road race.
The London 2012 time trial bronze medallist lines up alongside Geraint Thomas, Ian Stannard, Adam Yates and Steve Cummings with the race concluding at around 8pm BST.
The day also sees Team GB’s women’s hockey side take on Australia in their opening pool match and World Champion James Guy looking for a first swimming medal in the 400m freestyle.
Opening rounds are scheduled in the tennis, table tennis and boxing, Ashley McKenzie is the first judoka in action at the Games while our rowers take to the water in the first session of heats.
Men’s qualification in the artistic gymnastics and the first day dressage featuring Gemma Tattersall and William Fox-Pitt round off an action-packed opening day for Team GB at Rio 2016.