The world had not seen anyone like him as he bolted the tracks to a Greek delight in Athens. He was 22, as he failed to make a podium finish in the 100m finals.
The world had seen titbits of the true ability of a man that’d go on to make the sprints his. And it all started from somewhere, from those races as teenagers, that were the perfect pedestal for a senior athletics career. Eight-time Olympic Champion Usain Bolt sent a message of good luck to athletes assembling in Lausanne for the third edition of the Winter Youth Olympic Games (YOG). He was once a youth Olympian who graced the sports with electric performances.
The Jamaican sprinter was an ambassador for the first ever YOG in Singapore in 2010 and he told the competitors to enjoy every moment of their experience at Lausanne 2020.
“ To all the kids out there. I just want to say the best of luck. That’s where I started, that’s where your future starts to take shape . So go out there, do your best and enjoy yourself, that’s the key thing. Enjoy the experience. You are young so take your time and get developed. Be great. “
As the first wave of athletes gathered at the Olympic Village, known as the Vortex in Lausanne, International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach attended a special welcome event for the 15-18-year-old Olympians from around the globe ahead of the official opening ceremony on Thursday (January 9).
President Bach spoke of the special significance of these Games for the IOC. He said: “It’s a great moment for the IOC. Lausanne in Switzerland is our home and we have for the first time a great Olympic event at home here and this makes it very special I think for the people of Lausanne, for the Swiss people but also for us, so we are eagerly looking forward to when it finally starts.”
Earlier on Wednesday (January 8), the Olympic torch relay came to a symbolic end on the streets of the host city.
The route through the city known as the Olympic Capital was measured at 20.20 KM and 200 runners carried the flame on the final day of the relay that has crossed Switzerland since September 19, 2019, the day after its traditional lighting in Athens, Greece.
1,872 athletes from 79 National Olympic Committees will be in action in Lausanne and for the first time in Winter Olympic history the Games will have gender equality, with equal numbers of male and female competitors in the 81 medal events.