Exclusive Interview With Edgar Grospiron, Annecy 2018 Olympic Winter Games Bid Chief (Part 1 of 2)

In January Edgar Grospiron, French Olympic Moguls Ski Champion, was appointed General Manager of the Annecy 2018 Olympic bid. Annecy is considered an early underdog in this race and Grospiron has a daunting task ahead of him.

By Monday, the three bids for the 2018 Olympic Winter Games will submit their initial questionnaire responses – or mini bid-books – to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for evaluation. Based on these documents, the IOC will create a short-list of candidates to be announced in June.

While in Vancouver in February, GamesBids.com caught up with Grospiron, who was in town for the Olympic observers’ program and to provide moguls commentary for French national television.

Following is Part 1 (of 2) of GamesBids.com’s exclusive one-on-one interview with Grospiron; a candid conversation and glimpse into the Annecy 2018 bid.

GB – “What in Vancouver has inspired you the most?”

EG – The crowds in each venue were very, very incredible and this was very inspiring.

GB – “What have you learned that you can you use to further your bid?”

EG – There are many things, but more technical things that we see – a team of Annecy came for the observers’ program and I know we got a lot of information. It’s going to be a lot of good information for us to prepare our bid.

On my side it was very interesting to know and to see members from the IOC, members from the international federations and from NOC’s – so it was very interesting to meet them and to share about our bid and to share about Olympism – what they are expecting from a bid.

GB – “Tell me about your bid experience.”

EG – This is my first time I am doing this job and it is very interesting. My guides, pilots, are Jean-Claude Killy and Guy Drut – those are IOC members. They showed me that world, that society which has codes, which has rules – it is very interesting to me.

GB – “Are they involved with the bid?”

EG – Jean-Claude Killy is totally involved in the bid and he is totally behind me and he doesn’t want to be in front because he wants to transmit what he knows, his knowledge, to young athletes, like I am, like we are – because I am not the only one who is bidding. So Jean-Claude said ‘you first’ and I’ll be behind you and I will give you advice and I will bring you to see, to meet – but you are handling the vision, you have to share the project and you have to add your own experience. He is like a mentor.

GB – “Is that working well so far?”

EB – Yes. Jean-Claude Killy is someone very respected in Olympism.

GB – “How do you compare Games in a city the size of Vancouver to a Games in Annecy?”

EG – Annecy is a different concept than Vancouver because Annecy is a smaller city, so if we don’t have the whole department of Haute-Savoie – the whole project is eight ski resorts, world famous ski resorts like Chamonix, Megeve, La Clusaz, Morzine and Le Grand Bornand and others – if you don’t have that concept, it wouldn’t be possible for us to organize the Olympics. We have a concept which is distributed – not a large city and a ski resort. All in an area with a 50km radius, everything is within an hour of Annecy. So it will be a compact Olympics, so that’s why it’s, I think, different than Vancouver. I don’t mean it’s better or it’s worse – I just mean it’s different and what we have also in Annecy is like here, spectacular scenery.

But the most important thing for us is that every ski resort will put the best slopes and the best venues to make excellent competitions and to have great champions. As we are champions who are making the bid, we know where it happened. We want challenging slopes and challenging terrains – that’s very important for us.

[Read Part 2 of interview]

Video: Annecy 2018 Olympic Bid – Edgar Grospiron : un champion