French Minister Pledges Renewed Support For Annecy 2018

The Associated Press reports French Sports Minister Chantal Jouanno pledged Friday her renewed support for Annecy’s 2018 Winter Olympic Games bid.

Christian Monteil, chairman of the Annecy 2018 supervisory board, told The Associated Press that Jouanno promised to help find more funding once the bid’s international marketing strategy is clearly defined.

Monteil said the meeting was “a very constructive session and I would like to thank Chantal Jouanno both for taking the initiative to organize the meeting and for her support for the bid. All the parties involved in this tremendous project will now be sitting down together (to) decide upon the measures which need to be taken to strengthen the bid for the international phase. We will then be in a position to identify the appropriate resources.

“For the time being it is quite naturally up to the supervisory body to take steps to consolidate the bid’s international promotion strategy, based on the first rate bid book we shall be submitting to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on the 11th of January”.

Monteil said following a meeting between Annecy officials and Jouanno that he was hopeful the minister would help secure new sponsorship deals with French companies.

He said, “once our international strategy will have been set up, the minister said she will consult with French private companies. We still have to sound them out, like the Koreans and the Germans did. We are on good tracks”.

Annecy is competing against Munich and PyeongChang for the right to host the 2018 Winter Games.

According to Monteil, before she committed herself further Jouanno said she wanted to make sure the bid had the support of French IOC members Guy Drut and Jean-Claude Killy. After the IOC criticized Annecy 2018’s spread-out venues in June Annecy officials changed their plans to a proposal centred around Annecy and Chamonix. Both Drut and Killy said last week the revamped approach failed to impress IOC members.

Monteil said, “it was a very good meeting and the minister showed a great interest in the bid. She wanted to know exactly how we intend to reorganize our communication strategy, and also wanted to make sure we still have the support from the sporting world in this difficult period”.

A supervisory board meeting is scheduled for Annecy on Sunday. Topping the agenda is the funding and hiring of personnel capable of boosting the team’s international profile.