POSTED: January 22nd 2011

Annecy 2018: New chief Beigbeder upbeat and thinking gold in Games race

Charles Beigbeder believes he can take Annecy to the top / Annecy 2018
Charles Beigbeder believes he can take Annecy to the top / Annecy 2018

NIKKI WICKS / Sports Features Communications

LONDON/PARIS, Jan 22: The new leader of Annecy’s Olympic bid has promised to do whatever he can to bring the 2018 Winter Olympic Games to the French city.

Speaking to, Charles Beigbeder conceded that Annecy was trailing in the race with Munich and PyeongChang, but remained confident that there was time to turn things around, saying: “I am here to win.”

“We are not a favourite for many reasons but this can be overcome. My challenge is to go from the underdog position to the top dog position”

The 46-year-old French businessman and entrepreneur was announced as the new chief earlier this month, following the resignation of Edgar Grospiron in December, who was said to have had concerns over funds and support for the bid.

Grospiron's departure followed comments from French IOC members Jean-Claude Killy and Guy Drut suggesting the bid was in crisis.

 However, self-declared winter sports fan Beigbeder said that Killy and Drut were firmly behind the bid and that “anything can happen” in the run up to the IOC decision on July 6 in Durban, South Africa.

Beigbeder has enjoyed huge success on the international business scene with numerous innovative companies and start-ups and seized the opportunity to help turn Annecy’s bid prospects around.

“The more I dug into the bid book, the more I could see we had a strong case,” he said. “We have six months and anything can happen. The message I am giving to my team is that I will do everything I can to win and to show the world and the IOC members that Annecy is a great place to host the Games.”

Annecy is first in-line to host the IOC Evaluation Commission when it begins in on-site inspections of the bid cities next month.

The commission, led by IOC member and chair of the 2018 evaluation commission Gunilla Lindberg, visits Annecy on February 8-12, Pyeongchang on February 16-19 and Munich on March 1 to 4.

Keywords · Annecy 2018 · Olympic bidding · Charles Beigbeder · winter Games

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