Thomas Bach, president of the IOC, attends a news conference after an Executive Board meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland, June 20, 2019. (File photo: CGTN)
The 2020 Winter Youth Olympics is starting in Lausanne, Switzerland, taking place from January 9 to 22. This year marks the third edition of the Winter Youth Olympics, with more than 1,800 athletes competing for gold in 81 events across 16 disciplines.
International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach welcomed some athletes who already arrived. But their arrivals were overshadowed by news that a Russian skater was fighting for her life, after slipping during a rehearsal for the opening ceremony.
According to local police, the 35-year-old Russian skater was in a life dangerous situation, after she lost balance and fell from more than five meters high to the ice in the arena where the opening ceremony will be held.
Local authorities are investigating the cause of accident. Bach said the IOC is monitoring news of the condition of the injured very closely.
He expressed sorrow and sadness when asked about the issue. "We are very saddened by this incident, and we have been following closely all the developments. We are in close cooperation there with the Organizing Committee. And the Organizing Committee has taken all the precautions so that we will have here safe events, and that the athletes can really enjoy the games, and enjoy their performance.”