The countdown clock has been designed to symbolise the Olympic spirit of Lausanne Olympic Capital. Lausanne has hosted the IOC headquarters since 1915 and was given the official title of Olympic Capital in 1994. Lausanne and the Canton of Vaud are also home to more than 50 international federations and international entities linked to sport. Built at the initiative of the City of Lausanne in cooperation with the Canton of Vaud, the International Olympic Committee and OMEGA, the countdown clock highlights Lausanne’s role of Olympic Capital.
Made of several blocks of Jura limestone, this clock counts down the time remaining (in days, hours, minutes and seconds) until the Rio Games in 2016 and the PyeongChang Games in 2018.
On one of the faces, the seven pictograms carved in the stone represent the seven Olympic sports on the program of the PyeongChang Winter Olympics in 2018: biathlon, bobsleigh, curling, ice hockey, luge, ice skating and ski.
On the other face, no less than 28 pictograms symbolise the sports federations which will be taking part in the Rio Olympics in 2016. These pictograms were developed by Omega and carved by craftsmen in stone.
By setting up this clock, the city wished to pay tribute to the outgoing President Jacques Rogge, an upright man of conviction who defended the values of the Olympic movement. Through the robust nature of the stone and its size, this countdown clock owned by the City of Lausanne exemplifies the deep roots of the Olympic movement in Lausanne and so strengthens its stature as Olympic Capital.
The countdown clock was inaugurated on Monday, 24 June 2013, in the presence of Mr Philippe Leuba, Councillor of State, Daniel Brélaz, Mayor of the City of Lausanne, Nick Hayek, Swatch Group CEO, Stephen Urquhart, OMEGA President, and Jacques Rogge, IOC President.