POSTED: October 22nd 2010

Annecy 2018: Bid introduces compact Annecy/Chamonix-Mont-Blanc revision

Ceo Edgar Grospiron - 1992 Freestyle Skiing Olympic Champion / lake images
Ceo Edgar Grospiron - 1992 Freestyle Skiing Olympic Champion / lake images

LAURA WALDEN in Acapulco / Sports Features Communications


ACAPULCO, Oct 21: Annecy opened its bid presentation to ANOC with IOC member and skiing legend Jean-Claude Killy describing the mentoring legacy behind the passing of the baton to Edgar Grospiron to lead the bid. Killy was involved with the organizing committee of the Albertville Games in 1992 but was not able to attend the assembly in person.

The Annecy bid team restructured the bid plan to yield an ultra-compact and high-performance concept organized around two principle bases, Annecy and Chamonix Mont-Blanc. These are less than an hour apart with direct links by motorway and the "Games Train."

Grospiron is energized about the new plan. He said: “In addition to proximity, Annecy and Chamonix are unique in that they both have Snow and Ice venues and both Olympic Villages are located in the heart of the society. And more than 80pc of the athletes will be accommodated less than 10 minutes from their venues.

“The first Olympic Winter Games were held in Chamonix in 1924. This territory is our most beautiful and valued possession; and it is our responsibility to improve and maintain it while respecting the environment, its values, its traditions and its authenticity."

In a twist Annecy then introduced Swedish skier Pernilla Wiberg as a new athlete ambassador for the French bid. Wiberg, who resides in Monaco, said: “I have never ever experienced a candidature that takes the athlete’s voice so seriously.”

Carla Sarkozy, wife of French state President Nicolas Sarkizy, documented her backing for the bid with a recorded video in support of the Games. The former model and singer songrwriter is originally from Italy.

She said: "It would be a great honour for my country to host the 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in Annecy. I am aware that you would be placing your full trust in us, and we therefore stand at your entire disposal.”

The Annecy presentation therefore included two key Foreign Ambassadors.

The rest of the actual delegation included French NOC head Denis Masseglia, yriple Olympic Alpine skiing medallist Perrine Pelen, Jean-Pierre Vidal, 2002 Olympic champion in slalom and Jean-Luc Rigaut, Mayor of Annecy and triple canoeing world champion.

Pelen said: "As an Olympian, I know how important the Olympic Village is to an athlete's experience at the Games. At Annecy and Chamonix, everything will be done to give them the most comfortable welcome, in order to encourage sporting performance and a celebratory atmosphere."

No French IOC members were on the podium during the presentation.

A key point in the presentation was the new "Nations Square" concept directed towards the NOCs, where for the first time in history all the NOCs will have the opportunity to meet and host their hospitality houses in one centralized area.

The French team concluded with a final invitation to the Olympic Family: "We have the snow, we have the ice: All we need is you."

Keywords · Annecy 2018 · Olympic bidding · ANOC · Edgar Grospiron · Carla Sarkozy · Denis Masseglia · Perrine Pelen · Jean-Pierre Vidal · Jean-Luc Rigaut

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Laura Walden ()

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