Olivier Mutter teaches at the University of Lausanne. He is a project manager in the field of sport who has the specific task of managing relations between the University of Lausanne and the YOG Lausanne 2020, for which he has devised the educational programme. This work has been carried out in close collaboration with the organising committee and the IOC. It features seven activities, split between three pillars: protecting the athletes, working on performance, and assisting the athletes beyond sport.
“The protection part is about making [the athletes] understand that they are role models and that they have to take care of their health,” explains Mutter. “For performance, in collaboration with INSEP [the French National Institute of Sport, Expertise and Performance], they take tests so they can be aware of their strengths and weaknesses, train better and have a longer and more successful career. And when we say beyond sport, we mainly mean managing relations with the media, career management, etc. We have really put together a plan with these three pillars and these seven activities.”
There is the health component, which focuses on injury prevention, but, and this is also a concern for the IOC, we are mainly interested in athlete performance – how to train better, how to maintain performances.”
A full – scale
At the Buenos Aires YOG in October 2018, Mutter and his teams were able to set up and test a number of elements that will be introduced at Lausanne 2020. “We created what we call the ‘performance accelerator’ with tests on posture and movement quality. With the help of technology, the athletes were then able to obtain feedback from training experts on their strengths and weaknesses. They received advice on their training. This mechanism worked really well.” And it will be available for Lausanne 2020.
Chat with champions, “focus days” with the federations
As for the educational programme, “chat with champions” modules will be available for the young participants: athlete role models and sports stars will come to share their experiences, chat and offer their informed advice. The activities will primarily be centred around the two Villages, the Vortex in Lausanne and the Village in St Moritz; and the International Sports Federations will make their contribution by offering “focus days” devoted to a particular sport with specialists in the disciplines.
The Lausanne academic concludes: “The educational programme in its entirety also means that we have inspiring sports events that allow the athletes to understand that sport is not only about winning, but also about sharing special moments with people, both men and women, from every country. The sporting dimension goes beyond the competition, which is what we want to help them understand. Then there is the IOC’s Athlete365 platform, with all its modules that help youngsters prepare for their career, [work on their] nutrition, etc. We are making this content available to them – there is so much more to it than sports performance.”