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IOC formally opens $145M new headquarters in Switzerland

June 23, 2019
The new headquarters building of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), in Lausanne, Switzerland, Tuesday, June 18, 2019. The inauguration of the Olympic House will take place on June 23, during the celebration of Olympic Day. (Cyril Zingaro/Keystone via AP)

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — The International Olympic Committee has formally opened its 145 million Swiss francs ($145 million) new headquarters exactly 125 years after the Olympic Games was revived.

“On our 125th anniversary, we clearly see what a great visionary Pierre de Coubertin was,” IOC President Thomas Bach told guests Sunday at the inauguration.

“By bringing the entire world together in peaceful competition, the Olympic Games are a symbol of hope and peace for all humankind,” Bach said.

A ceremony in the lakeside grounds of Olympic House in Lausanne including a playing of John Lennon’s song Imagine.

Bach cited Lennon’s lyrics when he said of De Coubertin: “You could say, he was a dreamer. But he was not the only one. This peaceful world, which John Lennon asks us to imagine, this peaceful world is what we all are working for.”

“The rooftop takes the shape of a dove, another universal symbol of peace,” said Bach. “The whole design is intended to make the building welcoming and to reflect our transparency.”

Olympic House was built on the site of the former headquarters, and 95 percent of the old materials were reused and recycled.

The signature feature is a central staircase linking together the five Olympic rings.

Designed by architecture firm 3XN of Denmark, the energy-efficient building has won international awards for sustainability. Renewable energy is provided using solar panels on the roof and pumps taking water from Lake Geneva.

It also brings around 500 IOC employees under one roof.

IOC members have also gathered in Lausanne to choose the 2026 Winter Games host on Monday. The candidates are Milan-Cortina from Italy and Stockholm-Are from Sweden.

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