The 3rd Winter Youth Olympic Games opened with a spectacular 'Winter Wonderland' ceremony depicting the Olympic spirit and the theme of “Home” at the Vaudoise Arena on 9 January.
"Spirits" dressed in white helped opened the show to more than 8,000 spectators who witnessed seven stories about the evolution of an athlete. There was also a parade of participants carrying more than 79 National Olympic committees' flags.
Lausanne 2020 is now on!
There were stunning performances all throughout the night by local young people. The crowd were also treated to a figure skating number by Olympic medallist Stéphane Lambiel who danced to the tune of Vivaldi's Four seasons played by a live orchestra. In other segments, ballet dancers formed the shape of the Olympic rings and a children's choir sang while the Olympic flag was being raised.
Later on, IOC President Thomas Bach took the stage to deliver a speech: "Welcome to the Winter Youth Olympic Games Lausanne 2020. For more than 100 years, Lausanne has been the home of the IOC. This is why for all Olympic friends Lausanne is also home. Our wonderful Swiss hosts make us feel at home, right here at the Olympic capital. This is why I say, 'Dear athletes, welcome home."
The cauldron was finally lit by Gian Zehnder – the youngest member of the Swiss delegation with an appearance of Yodli, the mascot of the Games, bringing the ceremony to a close.