On Monday, Annecy in France regained a competitive position in its 2018 Olympic Winter Games bid by unveiling a new, more compact and better supported venue plan.
In June the International Olympic Committee (IOC) chose Annecy along with PyeongChang, South Korea and Munich, Germany to bid for the Games. But Annecy did not receive the same accolades as the other two bids; instead, the French city was dealt a strong warning by the IOC: your risky plans must be improved.
Annecy has responded with an upgraded plan that includes Annecy and Chamonix Mont-Blanc as the two main clusters with all competitions being held within a 33 km radius. All athletes will be accommodated in only two athletes’ villages.
Ceremonies, ice skating, curling, snowboarding and some ski events would be held in Annecy. Alpine Skiing and ice hockey is planned in Chamonix Mont Blanc and the sliding center remains at La Plagne as per original plans.
Edgar Grospiron, CEO of Annecy 2018 was clear on the message he wanted the new plan to convey to the IOC.
This new plan shows that “…it is possible to host a great event like the Olympics in the heart of the mountains and in the centre of Europe”, Grospiron told GamesBids.com from Paris.
At the Vancouver Olympics in February, Grospiron admitted to GamesBids.com that his bid started slowly and didn’t liaise properly with the IOC and the media.
Monday he told us “the start was quite difficult. We didn’t have time to improve.
“The IOC told us you have to work on your concept; you have to improve your concept.
“All summer we have worked on a new vision of the Games.
“Our experts also worked on the Paris bid, Rio’s bid, Tokyo’s bid and also Sochi’s bid; so now the expertise is there and it is very important for us.
“The new concept, we think, fits the IOC needs and it fits also to the population.”
Grospiron stressed the reduction of risk in the new plan, something he believes is critical for the IOC.
“There are less risks for sure, because we have been thinking in a way to reinforce the bid and reinforce the file.
“(We thought) what are the expectations of the IOC and what are the expectations of the people that live in the area? We cannot work against the founders [land owners], what we want is to work with them to see if Olympism and their own activity can work together and can make a new future for our country and our region.
“None of their land will be touched by Olympic infrastructure.”
Annecy will submit full details of the plan to the IOC when all three bids are required to do so January 11, 2011.