A total of 1880 athletes aged 15-18 from 80-plus countries will descend upon Lausanne for the 2020 Youth Olympic Games, which open Thu., Jan. 9 and conclude on Wed., Jan 22.
Lausanne 2020, the third edition of the Winter Youth Olympics, will feature eight sports and 16 disciplines. The multi-sporting and cultural event is open to teenagers born between Jan. 1, 2003 and Dec. 31, 2005. Men who compete in pairs and ice dance must have been born between Jan. 1, 2001 and Dec. 31, 2004. Following the example of the 2018 Summer Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, Lausanne 2020 will be a gender equal event with the same number of male and female athletes competing. For the first time, all athletes, coaches and officials will be housed in one place at the Youth Olympic Village.
A total of 76 figure skaters (38 men and 38 ladies) are slated to compete at these third winter Youth Olympic Games. The figure skating competition, which will be held at the Palladium de Champéry in Champéry, begins Fri., Jan. 10 with the pairs and men′s short programs.
As well as the individual events, there will be a mixed NOC (National Olympic Committee) Team Event, with skaters from different nations in eight teams (a format similar to that of the Japan Open). Skaters will compete their long/free dance programs and points will be collated from all four disciplines to determine the winning team.
Qualification for the Games was first determined by placements at the 2019 World Junior Championships. Nations with skaters that placed top three at that competition automatically earned two places at the Games in those disciplines. All other nations can enter one athlete until the quota of 12 for the singles events, seven in pairs and nine in ice dance, are reached. Four spots for singles skaters and three for pairs and ice dance were determined at the conclusion of the 2019 Junior Grand Prix Series. Countries that did not already have a quota spot are only permitted to field one skater/team per discipline.
Former French ice dance champion Nathalie Péchalat and Canada′s Patrick Chan will be Athlete Role Models in Lausanne. “I’m really excited,” said Chan. “I honestly don’t know what to expect, because I’ve only really known the Olympic experience from an athlete’s perspective, so it will be really interesting to be on the other side and acting as a mentor. I was in the same position as these athletes before, so I know what it’s like and I know how helpful it can be to have people in the background supporting you.”
The Games will be streamed online (including the opening and closing ceremonies), on the Olympic Channel, on YouTube and connected TV devices such as Amazon Fire, Apple TV, Android TV and Roku. Download the App here.
The dedicated streaming channel will feature both live and tape-delayed event coverage. As well, there will be daily highlight shows on Twitter and Facebook.
The following IOC Member nations/NOCs earned places at the 2020 Youth Olympic Games based on the results of the 2019 World Junior Championships:
The following IOC Member nations/NOCs, which had not previously earned places at the Games, were added based on the results of the 2019 Junior Grand Prix Series:
Israel and France will not field a pairs team; Azerbaijan will not field a man. As the host nation, Switzerland had the right to enter one singles skater/team per event. If Swiss skaters did not qualify via the Qualification Pathway, Switzerland was entitled to the last qualification place, if any, in each of the four disciplines. That nation will field skaters in all disciplines except pairs.