Annecy 2018 Bid Improved – IOC

On the final day of the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) Evaluation Commission’s inspection of Annecy’s bid for the 2018 Winter Olympic Games, IOC member Gunilla Lindberg of Sweden, who chaired the panel, congratulated the Annecy team for improvements, saying, “I think the bid committee of Annecy 2018 has listened to the comments from the IOC that were made in June and it has been a big improvement of the bid, especially in not having so many competitions venues as it was proposed”.

Annecy officials have since changed their plans and now have a more centralized projected centred on two main hubs, Annecy and Chamonix.

At a news conference Saturday following the inspection Lindberg said a full report on the visit will be made available in May when city officials meet IOC members in Lausanne. The host city for the 2018 Games will be elected July 6 in Durban, South Africa.

Lindberg said, “on behalf of the IOC evaluation commission I would like to express my sincere appreciation to the entire staff chaired by Charles Beigbeder for that excellent and highly professional cooperation and hard work.

Lindberg also talked about the strong government backing for the bid after French president Nicolas Sarkozy and several high profile cabinet members went to Annecy to meet with the IOC members.

Meanwhile French sports minister Chantal Jouanno said Annecy needs a bigger budget if it is to make a successful bid.

She said the ($29 million) budget needs to be increased to allow the French bid to be competitive against its two rivals. “we don’t have a big enough budget”, she said, adding that she is hoping to secure an extra ($5.4 million) from private companies by the time the IOC selects the host city.

Jouanno told a small group of reporters, “I think we are going to reach ($33.8 million). It will be private money. At first (private companies) didn’t believe in our bid. Now companies are confident. They can see that our bid can be trusted”.

Jouanno said the extra money is likely to come from banks and big companies.

Jouanno said there has been “no strong criticism” from the commission of the technical side of Annecy’s bid, and its main task now was to promote the bid internationally and to launch into an effective lobbying.

She added that France had learned from the failure of Paris’ bid for the 2012 Summer Games, saying “we were too proud and too sure that we were going to win”. She hinted that if Annecy loses, a French city would bid for the 2020 Summer Olympics, reports The Associated Press.

Jouanno said, “nothing is granted today. If we win the Games we won’t bid. If we don’t, probably. It’s been too long that France has not organized the Games”.

The IOC commission will be in PyeongChang next week inspecting its bid for the 2018 Games February 16 to 19, and then on to Munich March 1 to 4.