French President Nicolas Sarkozy travelled to Annecy Friday to meet with the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) Evaluation Commission inspecting the city’s bid for the 2018 Winter Olympic Games.
While pledging his support for the bid he said it will be tough to overcome the city’s “extremely powerful” rivals to host the 2018 Winter Games.
Sarkozy said during a tourism and economics conference in the ski resort of La Clusaz, the proposed venue for the cross-country skiing and Nordic combined events, “you have got a very good bid book. Your region is absolutely beautiful. You want to host those Games. We are going to fight together to have them”.
In June the IOC placed Annecy last among it’s competitors PyeongChang and Munich. Annecy officials then revamped their plans with a more centralized project centred around Annecy and Chamonix.
Sarkozy added, “you are trying hard. It’s difficult. Your opponents are extremely powerful but I’m with you. If we win the Games it will be fantastic. And if we don’t win, all we did will be useful for your cities and your region”.
Sarkozy told the evaluation commission that the state is completely committed to Annecy’s bid.
After Sarkozy’s departure the evaluation commission met with Annecy bid officials to discuss Games issues relating to marketing, finance, the political and economic climate, immigration and customs formalities.
Prior to meeting with Sarkozy Friday the IOC commission members visited the proposed venues for ice hockey and Alpine skiing competitions in Chamonix.
The IOC’s inspection ends Saturday when commission members will hold a press conference.
The team will then travel to PyeongChang where they will inspect that city’s 2018 bid next week.