The International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) inaugurated its new headquarters Tuesday evening at its brand new building close to the central train station in Lausanne.
FIG President Bruno Grandi, who will retire at the end of 2016, and International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach cut the traditional ribbon during a ceremony that brought together numerous personalities from the Olympic movement as well as local authorities.
Among the guests were members of the IOC Executive Board and other IOC members, several presidents and secretary generals of international sports federations and representatives of the city of Lausanne and the Canton de Vaud, including State Minister Philippe Leuba.
“After 20 years of presidency, I have the pleasure of leaving my successor Morinari Watanabe the keys to a solid federation. This building is a testament to Gymnastics’s growing prestige on the international sports scene,” Grandi said.
“You can look ahead to the future of the FIG and Gymnastics in the world on a very solid foundation. I hope that the construction here is a solid foundation. But I’m sure that you have a very solid foundation as far as the sport is concerned, and we saw another demonstration of the power of Gymnastics at the Olympic Games in Rio,” declared Bach.
The new four-story building was built under the direction of architects Richter Dahl Rocha & Associates. A statue of a graceful gymnast, the work of artist Eleanor Cardozo, indicates the building’s entrance to visitors.
The oldest international Olympic sports federation, the FIG has known several different addresses in its history. It was founded in 1881 in the Belgian city of Liege, and followed its different presidents to France, Poland and finally Switzerland, where it resumed its activities after the Second World War.
After stints in Geneva, Lyss and Moutier, it moved its offices to Lausanne, the Olympic capital in 2008, taking up residence in a 19th century villa at Avenue de la Gare 12, which it purchased from the city.
Over the years, the space has become too small and less adapted to modern professional needs, leading the FIG Executive Committee to invest 16.5 million Swiss francs in the construction of a new building on the neighboring lot, situated at Avenue de la Gare, number 12A.
After 26 months of construction, the 30 employees of the Federation were able to move into their new offices at the end of November.