Winter Youth Olympics 2020: Warm weather, rains affect preparations for upcoming Lausanne Games

St Moritz prides itself as the birthplace of modern winter sports but the Swiss city has been hit by warm weather and had to wait until days before the Lausanne 2020 winter Youth Olympics to confirm its lake is iced up and ready for speed skating events.

Reuters January 08, 2020 17:28:49 IST
Winter Youth Olympics 2020: Warm weather, rains affect preparations for upcoming Lausanne Games
  • But unusually warm weather this winter combined with a lack of snow and heavy rain have affected preparations for Lausanne 2020

  • The course at Les Diablerets, venue for Alpine skiing events, has been shortened by several hundred metres due to rainfall in the last 24 hours

  • The Lausanne Youth Winter Games run from 9 to 22 January

Lausanne, Switzerland: St Moritz prides itself as the birthplace of modern winter sports but the Swiss city has been hit by warm weather and had to wait until days before the Lausanne 2020 winter Youth Olympics to confirm its lake is iced up and ready for speed skating events.

Winter Youth Olympics 2020 Warm weather rains affect preparations for upcoming Lausanne Games

Representational photo. Image credit: Twitter/@lausanne2020

St Moritz hosted two editions of the winter Games — in 1928 and 1948 — and its lake is to again be a major sports attraction of the Lausanne Youth Games starting on Thursday.

But unusually warm weather this winter combined with a lack of snow and heavy rain have affected preparations for the Youth Games.

“The lake is ready to host the youth Olympics speedskating competition,” organisers said late on Tuesday as athletes breathed a sigh of relief.

The same, however, cannot be said for the Alpine skiing events, with the course at Les Diablerets being shortened by several hundred metres.

“Following the rainfall (in) the last 24 hours in the area, the last section of the Jorasse ski run... although still practicable for leisure skiing, is no longer suitable for competition,” organisers said.

“After carrying out various field tests, the parties involved decided by mutual agreement to move the finish line up a few hundred metres. This concerns the Super-G, Combined, Giant Slalom and Slalom races.”

The Lausanne youth Games run to 22 January.

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