POSTED: November 13th 2010

Annecy 2018: The Olympic legacy of Chamonix is alive and strong

Bid ceo Edgar Grospiron is banking on the legacy of Chamonix and the first winter Games / Annecy 2018
Bid ceo Edgar Grospiron is banking on the legacy of Chamonix and the first winter Games / Annecy 2018

NIKKI WICKS / Sports Features Communications

LONDON, Nov 13: Edgar Grospiron, Olympic champion and CEO of Annecy 2018, shared a tale of the history of the French Alps with members of the Asian national Olympic Committees at the General Assembly of the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA), as the 2018 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games bid campaigns reach the final stages.

The bid cities for the 2018 Games will be required to hand in their bid books January 11th to the IOC and the evaluation visits will take place starting in February.

In October, Annecy 2018 presented its new, ultra-compact concept to the 205 National Olympic Committees at their General Assembly in Acapulco.

Speaking at the OCA in Guangzhou, China, where the 16th Asian Games are currently taking place, Grospiron took the opportunity to share a story of a lady from Chamonix, who was just 14 years old when the 1st Winter Olympics took place and related the history of the French Alps with Annecy's vision for the 2018 Games.

"In Chamonix, there is a lady called Hélène", he said. "She was 14 when she had the privilege of attending the 1st Winter Olympic Games, at home, in Chamonix, in 1924. From those times gone by, she has kept some unforgettable memories. Not only did Hélène witness this historic event, but she observed the way the region was shaped by Olympism, from the depths of each valley to the highest peaks.

"As was the case in 1924, a new era stands ahead of us. With the wisdom that her 100 years have given her, Hélène would tell you that we stand ready to prove ourselves worthy of the trust placed in us by the Olympic movement, to take winter sports to a new dimension," continued Grospiron.

"For the thousands of young people dreaming of athletic feats, for the champions who come from every continent to train here and for the millions of visitors who come from over 100 different countries every year, we want to mobilise all of the resources opened up by the Olympic Games to redefine our relationship with the mountains of the 21st century. We propose to join forces with you, devoting all of our common energy to serving the Olympic ideal that drives us every day in this noble quest: to host the 2018 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games, on the slopes of Mont-Blanc."

In a video message, Jean-Claude Killy, French IOC member and triple Olympic champion, restated his support for Annecy's bid, placing the emphasis on the concept proposed for the Games: "We have what I consider to be an outstanding programme, and want to use it to host splendid, memorable Games, which will go down in history," he said.

After the OCA General Assembly in Guangzhou, the delegations from Annecy and the other candidate cities will travel to Belgrade at the end of November, for the meeting of the European National Olympic Committees.

Keywords · Annecy 2018 · Olympic bidding · Edgar Grospiron · Jean-Claude Killy

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