The House of Switzerland at the Olympic Games in Rio
Switzerland will be present at the 2016 Olympic Games with a 'House of Switzerland' in the centre of Rio. The Swiss reception centre, which will be run by Presence Switzerland at the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, will provide a platform to celebrate sport and to promote economic, scientific and cultural links with Brazil.
In 2013, the Federal Council authorised Presence Switzerland to use a House of Switzerland for Switzerland's communication abroad during the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro and to enhance its impact and sustainability through a framework programme that was launched in 2014 for the FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
Following its success at the 2014 FIFA World Cup the House of Switzerland returns to Rio de Janeiro for the Summer Olympic Games in a new dimension. It will open on 1 August – that is before the Summer Olympic Games begin – and will remain open during the Paralympics. Construction work on the House of Switzerland began in mid-June.
As one of the few nation houses open to the public, the House of Switzerland will offer a meeting place for athletes and visitors from around the world to follow the games on its large screen and to see athletic records being broken live. According to Swiss Olympic the Swiss delegation can hope to win medals in several sports categories, including tennis, mountain biking, fencing, the triathlon and rowing. The House of Switzerland provides Swiss athletes with a place to rest, meet the public and the media, and enjoy Swiss culinary specialities.
In parallel to the support provided to members of the Swiss Olympic delegation, the House of Switzerland in Rio will help Switzerland promote bilateral relations with Brazil in the fields of foreign policy, the economy and scientific and cultural affairs. The Swiss community in Brazil will be linked to the House of Switzerland in particular through collaboration with the city of Nova Friburgo.
The President of the Swiss Confederation, Johann N. Schneider-Ammann, and Federal Councillor Guy Parmelin will visit the House of Switzerland. Federal Councillor Alain Berset will be received at the House of Switzerland for the opening of the Paralympic Games in September.
"The House of Switzerland charmed Brazilians during the 2014 FIFA World Cup. During the games, especially with the best tennis team in the world, led by Roger Federer, Switzerland has a good chance of making a lasting impression on Brazilians," said Ambassador Nicolas Bideau, head of Presence Switzerland.
The budget for the construction, operation and communication campaign for the House of Switzerland amounts to CHF 6.35 million and will be financed by means of a public-private partnership. Switzerland's presence in Rio offers Swiss partners and companies from both the public and private sectors many opportunities to be present in the Brazilian market.