POSTED: July 4th 2011

Annecy 2018 hospitality pavilion is buzzing with energy in Durban

Charles Beigbeder meets the press / Copyright Geoff Brink
Charles Beigbeder meets the press / Copyright Geoff Brink

The mood was upbeat and confident just 2 days to the vote / lake images
The mood was upbeat and confident just 2 days to the vote / lake images

LAURA WALDEN in Durban / Sports Features Communications

DURBAN, Jul 04: The Annecy 2018 hospitality pavilion on the Durban lido is a perfect setting for the French bid team, athletes, sponsors and supporters to gather and work together to fine tune in the final hours of the bid.

The large tented facility on the Indian Ocean beachfront is serving French cuisine and created a great atmosphere this afternoon as Annecy enjoy some local support from Durban stars of today and tomorrow.

Bid ceo, Charles Beigbeder, vice-presidents, Pernilla Wiberg and Jean-Pierre Vidal, CNOSF leader Denis Masseglia, and Annecy mayor, Jean-Luc Rigaut, were all were on hand to greet the media and to highlight on the preparations for this final presentation to the IOC members prior to the vote.

Durban Sharks and former RC Toulon rugby player, Ross Skeate, was joined by 11-year-old aspiring figure skater, Julia Durant, to meet the press today and give their support to the French bid. Durant dreams of skating in Annecy one day for the 2018 Games and enjoyed getting to meet Annecy ambassador Gwendal Peizerat to talk about that dream.

Skeate had stories to tell about his days in Toulon and the passion that the French people have for sports.

Beigbeder reiterated the hospitality and tourism power of the French bid entertaining 10 million visitors per year from over 100 countries.

He said, “We are happy to serve and bring the message of Olympism from the heart of the Alps.”

“We want to underline our vision, which goes beyond the concept of merchandising and commercialization and embraces the simple concept of great sport in the French Alps.

“There are very few hours left to lobby as most of the members are getting in today and some may arrive only tomorrow. Everybody is activated to prepare the most important presentation ever.

He also touched on the fact that Nicolas Sarkozy was not attending the IOC session however the team is joined by the French Prime Minister.

Beigbeder said, “We are not disappointed that our president is not here, he wrote all the IOC members last week and personally expressed his support. Our Prime Minister Francois Fillon is here and will take part in the presentation on Wednesday.

“This is an extremely high level bid plan and the IOC has recognized it as such, the presentation will be great to get our message across.”

Notably missing however from the press briefing were the two French IOC members, Jean-Claude Killy and Guy Drut.

Annecy is campaigning against Munich and PyeongChang for the bid to host the 2018 winter Olympics and Paralympics. The final vote will be decided July 6th in Durban, South Africa.

Keywords · Annecy 2018 · Charles Beigbeder · Ross Skeate · Gwendal Peizerat · Pernilla Wiberg · Jean-Pierre Vidal · Denis Masseglia · Jean Luc Rigaut · Julia Durant

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Laura Walden ()

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