Newly appointed Annecy 2018 President Charles Beigbeder plans to put in “170 days of hard work” to propel the French bid’s position in the 2018 Olympic bid race.
In an interview with GamesBids.com, Beigbeder said his top priority is “to convince each IOC member” of the value Annecy will bring to the Olympics. But after listing his background and experience in resume form, one thing is clear – he was appointed in part because of his heavy Rolodex.
Beigbeder is a serial entrepeneur and has founded companies in the financial, energy and Internet sectors; he has also been involved in public service. His Predecessor, Edgar Grospiron, resigned last month because he lacked the funds to effectively naviagete the bid through the international phase of the campaign. Beigbeder has the ability and contacts to quickly raise money and lead the lobbying effort internationally – perhaps putting Annecy back in the race.
“I know we are behind but we will move from underdog to top dog,” he told GamesBids.com.
Since the beginning of the campaign, it has been widely accepted that Annecy is behind in the campaign and bid officials have never denied this perception. Earlier this month GamesBids.com’s BidIndex scored Annecy well behind competitors PyeongChang and Munich due in part to financial issues.
Having only learned of the opportunity to lead the bid on January 4, Beigbeder admitted that his knowledge of Annecy’s plans had been minimal and he had only a general interest in the Olympic Games. He was elected President only one week later and after two weeks he has hit the ground running.
While he may not be completely up to speed on the ins-and-outs of the Olympic movement, Beigbeder said he is well supported by two Olympic Champions – Jean-Pierre Vidal and Pernilla Wiberg – who were appointed Vice Presidents earlier this month.
Next month the International Olympic Committee (IOC) will visit Annecy for a technical evaluation; the IOC will elect a winner July 6, 2011 in Durban, South Africa.