July 31, 2015 / 9:56 AM / 4 years ago

Lausanne chosen as host city of 2020 Winter Youth Olympics

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Lausanne, the Swiss city where the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is based, was chosen on Friday to host the 2020 Winter Youth Olympics.

A banner support the city of Lausanne's bid for the 2020 Youth Olympic Winter Games is pictured in front of the Cathedral in Lausanne, Switzerland, July 31, 2015. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

Lausanne easily won a secret ballot of IOC members at a convention center in downtown Kuala Lumpur, beating the only other candidate, the Romanian city of Brasov, which hosted the 2013 European Youth Olympic Winter Festival.

Lausanne won the ballot in a landslide, collecting 71 votes to 10.

“This year we are celebrating the 100-year anniversary of the IOC’s presence in Lausanne,” IOC president Thomas Bach told reporters.

“It is great we will now be able to continue this until 2020.”

The Youth Olympics are restricted to athletes aged between 14-18, and 2020 will be the third edition of the initiative from former IOC president Jacques Rogge to encourage more young people to stay in sport.

The first Winter Youth Games were held at Innsbruck, Austria in 2012 and Lillehammer, Norway will host the second edition next year.

As part of their proposal, Lausanne’s bidders said they planned to stage some skiing events in neighboring France, embracing the IOC’s new Agenda 2020 proposals encouraging bidding cities to adopt more flexible and cheaper strategies.

Lausanne has bid for the Summer Olympics three times but lost out on each occasion.

Swiss officials hinted that Lausanne could possibly bid the for future Winter Olympics. Switzerland has hosted the Winter Olympics twice before, in 1928 and 1948, both in St. Moritz.

Reporting by Julian Linden; Editing by Ed Osmond

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