Annecy 2018 Winter Games bid President Charles Beigbeder claimed that the underdog candidate can still win the right to host the Games at next months session in Durban following the results of a new opinion poll showing that more than 90% of the French public are in support of its bid.
Despite expressing his apparent delight at the results on a national scale, the fact that only 67% of local residents of Annecy are supporting the campaign is indicative of its struggle to lobby for backing.
The Annecy 2018 Bid Committee commissioned market research firm IFOP to carry out a final opinion poll, with fieldwork taking place between 19 and 31 May.
When respondents were asked the question: “Are you in favour of the city of Annecy in Haute Savoie hosting the 2018 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games?”, on a national scale 91% said yes, on a regional scale 88% supported the bid but locally, just 67% were in favour.
Despite these findings showing that support is now higher than at any other time in the campaign, 16 per cent higher than when the International Olympic Committee (IOC) conducted a similar poll during the Evaluation Commission earlier this year, the result is still significantly lower than the 92% recorded in Pyeongchang, the favourites.
Charles Beigbeder, Annecy 2018 President, stated: “The support of the French public is driving us on in this bid and we are grateful for their efforts every day of the campaign. This latest poll reflects the high-levels of public support as does our large and active Facebook community which has over 135,000 members.
“It is clear there is a strong belief in our vision of authentic Games in the heart of the mountains, with the athletes and for the future. This has been embodied by our 600 official athlete supporters including football World Cup winner, Zinedine Zidane, Olympic Champion Marie-Jose Perec and basketball star Tony Parker.
“These figures have given a huge boost to everyone working tirelessly on the bid. In the next few weeks we will all be doing everything we can to convince the IOC that Annecy 2018 would be the best possible partners for the Olympic movement to benefit Winter sports not just in one city, country or continent but all over the world.
“We fully believe we can be victorious in Durban and are sure the French public will be urging us on every step of the way.“