Bidding Cities for 2018 Winter Olympics Deliver Final Presentation Before July Vote

June 29, 2011

Annecy, Munich and Pyeongchang all delivered their final international presentations on their bids for the 2018 Winter Olympics and Paralympics to the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA) in Lome, the capital of Togo, before heading for Durban where they will find out which city has been chosen to host the Games.

Each bid tried to concentrate on what they could offer to Africa, a continent not traditionally associated with winter sports if they are awarded the Games when the International Olympic Committee (IOC) members vote at their Session on July 6. 

Charles Beigbeder, the President of Annecy 2018, said: “Annecy wants to share its spectacular mountains, its hospitality and its passion for sport so that the 2018 Winter Games inspire the whole world, especially young people. Annecy is a bid which is open to the world and all of its peoples.

“It is because of these very principles that France was one of the first countries in the world to implement an international sporting cooperation policy, particularly in Africa. A long-term policy focusing on human development because we believe that sport is a key factor of economic development, a creator of social links and a way of bringing people together.”

Denis Masseglia, the President of the French National Olympic and Sports Committee, endorsed this message, promising that they would try to help athletes from African countries get as many opportunities as possible to compete in winter sports but also promising to extend that offer to summer sports. 

“Sport and development actions, which are closely linked, are a constant preoccupation for France and its sporting movement. They go hand in hand with education and youth and are part of a global international cooperation strategy.”

Munich, meanwhile, chose to focus on the fact that their development programme in Africa had begun long before the bidding process for the 2018 Games.

Munich 2018’s high-profile delegation, comprising chair Katarina Witt, German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB) President Thomas Bach, and bid chief executive Bernhard Schwank were joined on stage by two guest presenters who have first hand experience of the DOSB’s outreach programme.

Bach promised that by choosing Munich to host the Olympics and Paralympics it would strengthen the bond between Germany and Africa.

He said: “I am deeply convinced that Munich 2018 will deliver great benefits to each of your NOCs (National Olympic Committees). Let us renew our historic sports and cultural partnership through Munich 2018. 

“Let us build an even stronger future together, for the benefit of millions of young Africans across the next generations. 

“With your support, we are looking forward to welcoming you to our Festival of Friendship in 2018: a genuine and true celebration of the magic of the Olympic Winter Games, in an atmosphere that we will all cherish together and never, ever forget.”

Pyeongchang 2018 also highlighted how its bid would help African NOCs develop more winter sports athletes and fans, and expand the overall winter sports industry in new markets.

But  the chairman and chief executive of Pyeongchang 2018, Yang Ho Cho, did not make any specific promises. 

He outlined their vision by saying: “Our vision, called ‘New Horizons’, is simple. We want to help promote the Olympic Movement, and grow winter sport to new regions and connect with new audiences. 

“We think that this is unique in this race for 2018, and it is something that only Pyeongchang 2018 can provide.”