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As part of the Sport Innovation Challenge 2023, Desirée Amacker, Michelle Gattlen, Marie Grosjean, and Ilona Schalbetter, studying tourism at the HES-SO Valais Wallis, were able to travel to Lausanne in mid-December and present their innovative solution to the jury. The opportunity to take part in this challenge was offered to them in the main option of sports management and tourism.

The Sport Innovation Challenge SIC 2023 was organized by ThinkSport and Swiss University Sports. This is an event to develop innovative solutions for current and future challenges in the sports industry. This year's challenge was proposed by Swiss Olympic. Around 48 student teams from 6 different Universities worked for two months on ideas for the possible organization of the Winter Olympics 203X in Switzerland.

The team of four students from the HES-SO Valais Wallis qualified, alongside six other teams from other institutions, for the final, which took place on December 14th in Lausanne.

The SIC offered students a great opportunity to gain experience and expand their network. The teams were coached and supported by mentors during the project phase between October and December and experts from the sports industry were represented at the finale, including Ralf Stöckli, Director of the Olympic Games Department at Swiss Olympic, who was also a member of the jury.

This year's challenge included four questions related to the Winter Olympics 203X in Switzerland, with one team focusing on one question at a time:

  • How can the Olympic Winter Games help create a new generation of leaders and talents?
  • How can the Olympic Winter Games generate long-term benefits for the tourism industry in Switzerland?
  • How can Switzerland help repositioning the Olympic Winter Games and be a game changer?
  • How to manage such complex and decentralized project and major event in a diverse environment like Switzerland?

Desirée, Michelle, Marie and Ilona addressed the question “How can the Olympic Winter Games generate long-term benefits for the tourism industry in Switzerland?”. To this end, they presented a product that is based on the Grand Tour of Switzerland and is intended to encourage tourists to visit more than just the Winter Olympics.

The “Olympic Grand Tour” - a product aimed at destinations and infrastructures rich in Olympic history. The idea is that travelers follow the route to the various Olympic locations, visit them, but also get to know their region and surroundings. The different destinations are complemented by AR, VR experiences or special offers in the region. The aim of this product is to preserve the memory of the Olympic Games in Switzerland and thus contribute to the legacy of these events.