POSTED: October 13th 2008

Lausanne hosts city exchange

LAURA WALDEN / Sports Features Communications

TAMPA: The first Olympic city summit in Lausanne proved justified its creation as an ideal opportunity for representatives of past and future host cities to meet and exchange experiences.

The World Union of Olympic Cities (UMVO/Union Mondiale des Villes Olympiques) was created in December 2002 by the cities of Athens and Lausanne with support from the International Olympic Committee.

The main purpose was to create a knowledge transfer forum about the challenges and opportunities which only host cities can experience.

The meeting, held October 9-11, brought together mayors and city officials who will be hosting, or aspiring to host, the Olympics and the Youth Olympic Games with past Olympic hosts.

Daniel Brélaz, president of  UMVO and mayor of Lausanne, said: “We are pleased that the first general assembly for UMVO was well received. Olympic cities have long needed a platform for exchange. I am honoured to be the president of the association and am dedicated to moving forward with its development.”

Representatives from cities with Olympic ambitions were Busan, Chicago, Copenhagen, Denver, Madrid, Poznan, Pyeongchang, and Rio de Janeiro.

Officials from past Olympic cities included those from St Louis, Amsterdam, Mexico City, Albertville, Calgary, Barcelona, Helsinki, and Lake Placid.

One of the guest speakers was Michael Knight, the former Minister of the Olympic Games for New South Wales, Australia, who explained how hosting the Olympics created new administrative processes for the government and left a political legacy.

Future Olympic host representatives included mayors of Vancouver and Sochi and officials from London.

Sam Sullivan, Vancouver’s mayor, told the summit how hosting the 2010 Games in Vancouver has enhanced the city’s social projects and infrastructures.

UMVO plans to hold biennial general assemblies to coincide with the Games’ schedule unless the demand rises for more frequent meetings. 

Keywords · IOC · World Union of Olympic Cities · Daniel Brélaz · Michael Knight · Sam Sullivan ·

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