How would you qualify the Union’s action and achievements in the year 2017 in three words?
“Growth”, “On-site”, “Inspiration”.
First, the Union continued to grow steadily in 2017. We welcomed three new Members, from three different continents: Gangneung, Mexico City and Munich. Moreover, the team of the General Secretariat has been sustainably strengthened. This allows more projects to be in the pipeline!
The second key fact I want to highlight is the first edition of the Union’s Annual Meeting combined with the Smart Cities and Sport Summit set up abroad. The General Secretariat overcame this organisational challenge and the Montréal edition was a fantastic opportunity for the Members to enjoy on-site visits and seize the opportunities offered by an Olympic host city to value its legacy. A visit to Lake Placid complemented this exploration of lively legacy and facilities. The Union is convinced that on-site visits are fully legitimate and relevant in the framework of our annual meetings.
Last but not least, the Keeping the Flame Alive! Olympic Legacy Toolkit – which represents a long-term endeavour – was finalised and published in 2017. It was made possible thanks to you and your willingness to share your own stories. Although it is a substantial achievement, it has not come to an end. It is indeed conceived as an open inspiration box where you can not only pick up ideas, but also add new cases and presentations to be shared with the others.
2018 is an Olympic Year. What are you expectations, both as the Mayor of Lausanne and the President of the Union?
The 2018 Winter Games in PyeongChang are bringing back the Games to Korea 30 years after the Seoul 1988 Olympic Summer Games. These Games have already proven the power of Olympism in many fields, from promoting winter sports in Asia to improving the dialogue among nations. As Lausanne will organise the 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games, there will certainly be interesting lessons to take back home. As far as the Union is concerned, PyeongChang will definitely be an interesting place to observe and a source of ideas for further analyses and experience sharing among Members.
The Union’s Annual Meeting and the Smart Cities and Sport Summit will be back in Lausanne this year. How will innovation and tradition be combined?
Lausanne is really happy and proud to welcome this event again We know that the Union’s Members enjoy coming “back home” periodically. In addition, Lausanne is also the optimum place to multiply side contacts and meetings with representatives of the IOC and International Sports Federations.
As I mentioned above, the Montréal edition convinced us that on-site visits are essential to enrich our perception of what legacy means concretely to cities. Fortunately, Lausanne is ideally situated in offering several options to discover Olympic venues, explore traces from the past and define actions for the future.
As it is the tradition, what would you wish for the Union and its Members?
I am really glad that the Union can build upon the positive developments of 2017. The association will continue to put the knowledge on an international level and focus on how Cities can use sport and great sport events for their own development. The Union will deepen collaboration and synergies with other international organisations and networks of Cities.
Increasing dialogue and experience sharing among the Members of the Union remains our core mission for 2018.
And finally, I am looking forward to meeting you all again in Lausanne from 28 to 31 October, 2018. Is timing a coincidence or not? The Lausanne Marathon will take place on the 28th of October…it is time to start training!