The city of Lausanne and the Swiss canton of Vaud, in partnership with the International Olympic Committee and OMEGA, have unveiled the “Countdown Clock” on the Place de la Navigation in Lausanne.
This clock highlights Lausanne’s role as Olympic Capital and stands as a tribute to IOC President Jacques Rogge, whose term of office comes to an end in September.
This clock, which was designed under the initiative of the City of Lausanne, comprises several blocks of limestone from the Jura. Seven pictograms have been engraved on one of its faces. They represent the seven Olympic sports that are included in the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games programme: biathlon, bobsleigh, curling, ice hockey, luge, skating and skiing. On the other face, another 28 pictograms have been carved into the stone. They represent the sports federations taking part in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. These pictograms have been engraved using traditional craftsmanship. If necessary, the logos can be modified and adapted for countdowns to future editions of the summer and winter Olympic Games.
OMEGA’s Countdown Clock in the Olympic Capital stands at a height of four metres and weighs 20 tons. Regional craftsmen worked on the design and assembly of this one-of-a-kind clock, which is already counting down the time in days, hours, minutes and seconds until the Sochi 2014 and Rio 2016 Olympic Games begin. The clock, which dedicated to IOC President Jacques Rogge, had been wrapped inside a gigantic gift package made up of thousands of balloons. When the balloons were released into the sky, the clock was unveiled.
The Countdown Clock was designed to illustrate the Olympic spirit of the canton of Vaud and its capital Lausanne. The city has hosted the IOC headquarters since 1915 and has held the official title of Olympic Capital since 1994. It is also home to over 50 international sports-related federations and bodies. The canton and the city embody the values of the Olympic Movement on a universal scale and represent a place that is clearly identified as a hub for these values. By creating this clock, Vaud and Lausanne wished to pay tribute to Mr Rogge and his commitment to the values of the Olympic Movement. The city-owned clock illustrates, with its imposing dimensions and stone construction, just how deeply rooted the Olympic Movement is in Lausanne and underscores its status as Olympic Capital.
The Countdown Clock was inaugurated on Monday 24 June 2013, in the presence of Philippe Leuba, Councillor of State, Daniel Brélaz, Mayor of the City of Lausanne, Stephen Urquhart, President of OMEGA, and Jacques Rogge, President of the IOC.
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