POSTED: February 11th 2011
NewsUpdate

Sarkozy tells Annecy to take heart from his own election recovery

French President Nicolas Sarkozy in La Chusaz - flanked by IOC evaluation commission leader Gunilla Lindberg (left() amd Annecy 2018 president Charles Beigbeder / Annecy_2018
French President Nicolas Sarkozy in La Chusaz - flanked by IOC evaluation commission leader Gunilla Lindberg (left() amd Annecy 2018 president Charles Beigbeder / Annecy_2018

KEIR RADNEDGE in Annecy / Sports Features Communications

ANNECY, Feb 11: President Nicolas Sarkozy promised a full-on effort on behalf of Annecy's bid to host the 2018 Winter Olympics when he met both local organisers and the visiting IOC evaluation commission.

Sarkozy addressed both over lunch after handing out sports equipment to young people in the village of La Chusaz which would be the venue for Nordic sports events including cross-country and ski jumping.

His visit was intended, finally,to put an end to lingering concerns about whether the government was fully committed to Annecy which is in competition with PyeongChang and Munich. The IOC makes up its mind in Durban on July 6.

Sarkozy told the Annecy bid team: "The only guarantee of failure is doing nothing. That's why I'm very pleased to be here to support this remarkable bid document.

"You have a very good concept, an absolutely magnificent region and the ambition to bring these Olympic Games here. We'll make every effort to try to win."

Recalling his own recovery from deep unpopularity to win the presidency, Sarkozy said: "Nobody believed I could do it at first but, as time went on, I found more and more people who did and then, on the evening of the election, everyone appeared to have believed in me. It will be the same for you.

"If it's to be victory, that will be marvellous and well earned and if it's not to be victory then the infrastructure created will still prove important for your towns, your departments and your region."

Infrastructure

Annecy 2018’s budget relies on making the most of existing infrastructures and mobilising state and public/private partners to guarantee a sustainable legacy which matches the values of the Olympic movement, while avoiding local tax increases to ensure the Games' popularity.

The infrastructure budget is being effectively held below $2.5bn through maximum use of existing and previously planned infrastructures such as the first speed skating oval in France. It also includes creating state-of-the-art sites like the new ski jumping hill in the Annecy hub, built specially for the Games, which will all together leave a sustainable sporting legacy for the Olympic movement.

Annecy president Charles Beigbeder has reassured local authorities that construction projects specific to the Games represent less than one per cent of standard investments and could thus be absorbed easily into the public budget without the need to raise taxes.

He added: "As a managing director, I understand the importance of having a reliable budget and the work that goes into planning it. Our budget is ambitious, solid and takes a sustainable development approach. We have the full support of our public partners, especially the French state, which has provided 100pc of the guarantees required by the IOC."


Keywords · Annecy 2018 · Sarkozy · Winter Olympics · IOC


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