POSTED: June 21st 2010

2018 winter Games bid hopefuls play waiting game in Lausanne

IOC headquarters: tomorrow the IOC executive will finalize 2018 candidate cities / IOC R. Juilliart
IOC headquarters: tomorrow the IOC executive will finalize 2018 candidate cities / IOC R. Juilliart

LAURA WALDEN in Switzerland / Sports Features Communications

LAUSANNE, June 21: The three cities vying to host the winter Olympics of 2018 are anxiously waiting the announcement tomorrow of their approval by the International Olympic Committee executive board so that they will be accepted as candidate cities.

Annecy, Munich and PyeongChang are the three potential host cities that submitted their detailed questionnaires to the IOC in mid-March and are widely expected to be elevated to candidate city status tomorrow.

The IOC executive board will be updated tomorrow with a recommendation put forward by a group of specialists which have evaluated the questionnaire submissions of all three cities.

This marks the lowest number of bidding cities to join the race to host an edition of the Olympic Games in 30 years. The redimensioning of bidding could be effected by the world wide recession and a series of external factors.

PyeongChang is making its third attempt at winning the right to host the Games and is also perceived as the front-runner of the race. The Korean bid represents the alluring possibility of making a strong contribution for the development of winter sports in Asia. The team also has the experience and preparation of the two earlier bids.

The bid is lead by Koren Airlines chairman Yang-ho Cho and promises the most compact Olympic zone clusters in history. Superstar gold medal figure skater Yu-na Kim also leads their list of athlete supporters.

Munich carries a double Olympic Legacy of the ’72 Games and ’36 Games at Garmisch-Partenkirchen and many of the venues can be utilized for the new winter sports plan. Hosting both the summer Games and potentially this 2018 edition will make Munich the first city to host a summer and a winter Games. Germany is also looking at ramping up winter sports tourism.

The German bid is headed up by Willy Bogner a former Olympic skier himself, film maker and sportswear designer bringing strong marketing skills to the table. Bogner is teamed up with German cover girl and another ultra famous figure skater Katarina Witt.

Annecy sits in the heartland of one of Europe’s strongest winter sports tourism areas and the Savoy-Mont Blanc is an anchor for attracting tourists from near and abroad. The lovely lake town is also known as the “Venice of the Alps” and lists the birthplace of the winter Olympics, Chamonix, as one of its venue areas.

Even though the bid has been perceived as a slow starter, French hospitality and the past experience of hosting three winter Games Chamonix, Grenoble and Albertville bring to the table a solid worldwide reputation.

Gold medal moguls skier Edgar Grospiron is at the lead of the French bid and has the experience and backing of another seasoned world renown expert Jean-Claude Killy. Killy is currently in charge of the IOC coordination commission overseeing Sochi 2014.

All three are viable candidates that could potentially stage good Games. It will be up to the 15 members of the IOC board tomorrow to take them into the next stage and not shortlist anyone.

The final vote will be held in Durban, South Africa in almost a year July 6th 2011 at the IOC session.

Keywords · 2018 Olympics · Olympic bidding · IOC

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