Saturday, 28 July was a charming day for the visit of Federal President Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf, who was up for an intense Olympic adventure. Against every cliché of presidential behaviour, Federal President Widmer-Schlumpf arrived at the House of Switzerland by tube - no helicopter or luxurious car. Ambassador Nicolas Bideau, Head of Presence Switzerland, warmly welcomed her in her home away from home, the House of Switzerland.
She then discovered the entire Red Zone, guided by Nicolas Bideau, and was really enthusiastic about it all. The busy and friendly atmosphere enchanted her. "The House is a symbol of Switzerland. It's open and people from different countries meet and talk," she said.
The Federal President then gave a press conference where she shared her impressions of the Olympic opening ceremony and talked about her meeting with the Queen at Buckingham Palace. And, of course, she talked about sports. She expressed her sympathy for Swiss cyclist Fabian Cancellara, who had fallen from his bike during a competition but did not forget to congratulate every other Swiss athlete that is part of the Olympics.
She hosted the presidential reception for many foreign and Swiss celebrities, of which founder and director of the Montreux Jazz Festival, Claude Nobs, and famous chef Anton Mosimann. She completed her day in the House of Switzerland outdoors in the Red Zone, listening to the concert of National Fanfare of Kadebostany and talking to the visitors of the House. A president among the crowd, she was friendly and accessible to anyone in the Red Zone. Just another example of Switzerland's culture of openess.
Click here for pictures of the visit of Federal President Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf.