POSTED: November 17th 2010

Annecy 2018: Edgar Grospiron goes in depth about the objectives driving the new bid plan

(L to R) Pernilla Wiberg and Edgar Grospiron both went into depth with about the new bid plan and its purpose / Annecy 2018
(L to R) Pernilla Wiberg and Edgar Grospiron both went into depth with about the new bid plan and its purpose / Annecy 2018

LAURA WALDEN / Sports Features Communications

TAMPA, Nov 17: Annecy 2018 bid leader Edgar Grospiron is hoping that a decisive reworking of the French city’s winter Games project will make all the difference in the run-up to the decisive vote in Durban next July.

Back in June the International Olympic Committee had suggested a streamlined venues strategy which has been endorsed subsequently by French IOC member and head of the Sochi 2014 coordination commission Jean-Claude Killy. Grospiron explained the new thinking in this exclusive interview with

What has changed by comparison with the original proposal?

The IOC suggested that we change the technical concept of the plan because it was too spread out and there were too many ski resorts involved. They said that this will make the organization of the Games difficult for all categories of participants.

After that, the next day we had a meeting with all the mayors of the ski resort cities and asked them if they wanted to continue the adventure or not. We realized that we would have to concentrate the venues a lot on Annecy and Chamonix and we would have to plan very hard.

How long did all this take?

It took four or five hours even to begin to think about a new venue plan and it was not easy to put this down on paper. After that we would still need to visit Chamonix and see if it were possible to put an Olympic Village of 1,500 beds there and to find the best place.

The density of housing in Chamonix is very important, the valley is quite narrow and it is almost all built up. For three months we checked different sites and places in order to fix the Olympic Village and what we found at the end is really the best proposal that we can put forward.

It is at a place where it will be very integrated and the building will be completely redone and this will add a great legacy factor.

How easy or difficult was it to think through the integration of the Games into the countryside?

Quite difficult as we didn’t start from scratch. There are huge existing accommodation centres and ski resorts and also of course we want to protect the environment. Our solution is to try to integrate the Games better into the mountains.

For example, there are mountains that surround the lake of Annecy and there is a natural park that is a reserve. For the people of Annecy it is like a garden and for the past 30 years no one has wanted to build anything there.

We inquired about the possibilities of building up there and they said they would want the area back as it was before the Games. At the moment there are some ski lifts and there is some terracing needed for the freeskyle skiing and snowboard venues. It would be good for the youth and it is 15 kilometers from the center of Annecy so it is very close.

What was the local reaction?

People were pleased with this solution . . . and, as an Olympic venue, it will also be a lasting legacy for winter sports tourism. It is the perfect place for freestyling so we studied how to bring water up there for artificial snow as there is no water there. Then we need to be sure we can return it as it was before the Games.

We won’t have to build any big buildings just something temporary for the athletes and the media – and we don’t need to buy the land because it is owned by the community and they will lend it to us.

Which is the more expensive - the old plan or the new?

It depends. For some venues for some sports it will be less expensive and for some others a little more. Overall, it will be about the same

Other segments of the interview will be upcoming soon.

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

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