Gunilla Lindberg – chair of the 2018 Olympic bid evaluation commission – and her team of 11 International Olympic Committee members and advisors have their travel plans in place to visit the three Olympic prospects this winter.
An IOC spokesperson told GamesBids.com Monday that the team will visit Annecy, France from February 9 to 12; PyeongChang, South Korea from February 16 to 19; and then finally to Munich, Germany from March 1 to 4. The commission will tour the sites of existing and proposed venues; engage in several detailed technical meetings and will enjoy some local culture and cuisine.
The bid committees often go to extremes to showcase their city during these crucial visits – sometimes involving celebrities and elite athletes and dressing up major landmarks for the occasion. Celebrations and performances are often organized to draw cheering crowds to the streets.
In contrast, opposition groups typically use this stage to exhibit their causes. In the past IOC evaluation commissions have granted legitimate groups the opportunity to address the team.
These visits, along with the cities’ multi-volume bid books due in January, are key components leveraged to create the commission’s evaluation report that will be published one month prior to the final election. The IOC will vote for the winner in Durban, South Africa July 6, 2011.