Rogge & Schwank Claim 2018 Bid Still a Three Horse Race

July 4, 2011

Ahead of the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) final decision upon who will host the 2018 Winter Olympics on Wednesday, July 6, Munich bid CEO Bernard Schwank believes all three candidates in the race to host the Games still have a chance of landing the event.

Munich is hoping to become the first city to host the Summer and Winter Games, while PyeongChang in South Korea is bidding for the third successive Winter Olympics having failed in their previous two attempts. Although French city Annecy was thought to be the outsider after difficulties in the early months of the campaign, which included the departure of former bid CEO Edgar Grospiron, Schwank has refused to rule the underdog out of the running.

Schwank told a press conference: “There are three bidders in this race. Do not forget anybody in a race. Until the last (IOC) session everyone has a chance. We would not like to compare our bid with the others. It is up to the media and the IOC at the end to decide.”

IOC vice-president and Germany’s top Olympic official Thomas Bach told the Associated Press: “We feel that we can win, but we are sportsmen enough to realise that on the given day someone else might be better. We haven’t hosted Winter Games in 80 years.”

Annecy bid president Charles Beigbeder told AFP: “We have a vision that serves the entire world, not one country and one continent. Our vision is in line with what the Olympic movement would like to have now. We are here to put on an authentic Games. We are not there to get a trophy for a company or a country.”

PyeongChang has been considered as the favourite by some observers, but IOC president Jacques Rogge referred to the 1994 bid race, which saw the Norwegian town of Lillehammer edge out favourite Ostersund in Sweden, as an example of how the form guide can be misleading.

Rogge claimed: “You have to fight until the end. I always take the battle for the 1994 Winter Olympics as an example. Everybody viewed Ostersund as the unstoppable force, and they were candidates for the fifth or sixth time. But it was Lillehammer who won and delivered a fabulous Olympics. At a certain moment they created the right chemistry in their bid, and that can even come on the final day.”

All three candidate city’s are currently lobbying for the final time and making their final presentations at the IOC Session in Durban, South Africa, with the decision set to be made in the next two days.