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Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Annecy crosses its fingers for 2018 Winter Olympic bid

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) will be gathering in the South African city of Durban on Wednesday to decide which city will host the 2018 Winter Games.

In the running still are three bids; Pyeongchang in South Korea, Munich in Germany and Annecy , the picturesque "Venice of the Alps" in the Rhône-Alpes region of southeastern France.

(screenshot from official video)

The French candidature has been beset by problems, not least of which was the resignation in December 2010 of the president of its bid committee, former Olympic medallist Edgar Grospiron, because he feared the city couldn't stump up enough money to be successful in securing the games.

A replacement was eventually found in the form of French businessman Charles Beigbeder who remains upbeat about Annecy's chances even though most pundits rank them as pretty slim.

"Anything is possible," Beigbeder told Europe 1 radio on Wednesday morning.

"There are still three candidates in the running and the president of the IOC, Jacques Rogues, has said that they're all strong bids," he continued.

"Hosting the games is not just about business," he said.

"The Games is an opportunity for the Olympic movement to fulfil its mission of transmitting sporting values to the entire world."

Doesn't that sound like the speech of a man who reckons he's on the losing side?

As the weekly news magazine Le Point says, international leaders turning up at the final presentation in front of the IOC to support a bid has paid dividends in the past; Tony Blair for the 2012 London Olympic, Vladimir Poutin for the 2014 Winter Games in Sotchi and Lula (Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva) supporting Rio's 2016 Summer Games success.

The French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, has chosen to stay away from Wednesday's presentation, a move which the magazine says some (cynics) might interpret as not wanting to be associated with a "loser" ahead of next year's presidential election.

Nothing could be further from the truth as far as Beigbeder is concerned.

'The president has always supported our bid and has written to each member of the IOC personally - which is very rare," he said.

'The prime minister, François Fillon will be making part of the presentation and we're proud of the team we've built," he continued.

"We are confident, determined and humble because we know it'll be difficult. But anything is possible."

Bonne chance.

At least Annecy cannot lose to Qatar!

Carte-postale-sport par annecy-2018

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What a strange choice of venue for deciding on where the 2018 Winter Olympics are going to be held! Durban can hardly be associated with mountains and snow. What next? The Maldives for the 2022 Winter Olympics?

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