France Hopes Alpine Skiing Boosts 2018 Chances

France hopes next month’s Alpine skiing world championships in Val d’lsere will boost its chances of hosting the 2018 Winter Olympic Games and, according to Reuters, is sparing no cost to make sure the stands are full.

Four French cities are bidding to become France’s candidate for the 2018 Games – Grenoble, Annecy, Nice and Pelvoux.

The event begins Tuesday and is free for spectators, while transport from nearby cities will cost just one euro. Organizers want to avoid a repeat of the poorly attended championships in Bormio Italy four years ago.

Thierry Philip, vice president of the Rhone-Alpes region, a major sponsor of the event and one of the organizers, told Reuters, “France needs to show it is capable of hosting a championship in the best conditions if it wants to be selected for the 2018 Winter Olympics. We wanted to get people interested in skiing races which is why the event had to be free and accessible”.

France, host of the first Winter Games in 1924, has not hosted Alpine world skiing championships since 1962 in Chamonix.

The French Olympic Committee is to announce March 18 which city will represent France.