Since 1998 at the Nagano Olympic Games, Switzerland has been present in the Olympic Village with its “House”. But not this time in Japan, because of the pandemic.
Alongside sports competitions, countries take advantage of this showcase to introduce themselves and welcome local populations as well as international celebrities of all stripes. Our country has been showing itself with its “Swiss House” since the Nagano Olympics in 1998. But the coronavirus is upsetting this tradition, reminiscent of the “Luzerner Zeitung”. After Germany and perhaps Austria on Wednesday, Switzerland throws in the towel in Tokyo.
Athletes in their bubble
Several factors led to this decision. Thus, there will be no international guests and the staff who would have been hired should have followed a quarantine of two weeks. These logistical concerns would have increased the budget by 4.9 million francs. In addition, recalls Nicolas Bideau, head of Presence Switzerland, the body responsible for promoting the image of our country abroad, “many partners are questioning their participation due to the pandemic.” In addition, the custom of the visit of Swiss medalists to the “Swiss House” is canceled, the athletes having to remain in a sort of sanitary bubble.
Efforts are now focused on the Beijing Winter Olympics in February 2022 where, this time, there will be two “Swiss Houses”, one in the center of the Chinese capital and another in the Zhangjiakou ski resort. . But here too, the evolution of the pandemic could change plans