Winter Games ’18 Bidders Lobby for Support in New Caledonia

By Community | March 28, 2011

All three cities bidding for the 2018 Winter Olympics and Paralympics travelled to Nouméa in New Caledonia to lobby for support from the Oceania National Olympic Committees (ONOC), who were holding their general assembly.

Yang Ho Cho, the chairman and chief executive of Pyeongchang 2018, said: “It would be a great honour for Pyeongchang to host the Winter Games in 2018, and we believe we can revitalise winter sport into a powerful driving force for Olympism. We are committed to creating Asia’s first long-term and sustainable winter sport legacy that offers a world of ‘New Horizons’ for winter sports and the Olympic Movement.”

Munich sent a high-level delegation headed by Thomas Bach, the President of the German Olympic Sports Confederation and vice-president of the International Olympic Committee, and Katarina Witt, the chair of Munich 2018 and a double Olympic ice skating champion.

Bach said: “It is a special pleasure for us to be here at ONOC because Germany has a very unique historic connection to this continental association. It was at the Baden-Baden Olympic Congress in Germany in 1981 that Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and New Guinea actually founded ONOC.”

Witt added: “It is great to have the opportunity to share Munich 2018’s vision with the Olympic family in Oceania this week and, as an athlete by heart, to reach out to athlete: on a different continent. Munich 2018 will offer opportunities to athletes, coaches and federations from every sport and every nation through various training activities within the ‘Olympic Winter Friendship Programme.’ What’s more, it will seek for the first time to bring together athletes from winter and summer sports in the framework of Germany’s long-time development programme.”

Annecy’s delegation was led by bid President Charles Beigbeder and Denis Masseglia, the President of the French National Olympic Committee (CNOSF).

Masseglia said: “We want to use the tremendous power of the Olympic Games to forge a path towards the mountains of the 21st century. The Games will make Annecy a hub of sporting excellence for training and coaching athletes from all seven continents.”

Beigbeder thanked the ONOC for “giving Annecy the opportunity to spend time with its members in this wonderful part of the world” expressed his joy at being able to “meet them and learn from them.”

He added: “Annecy is full of surprises. And we aim to make the most of them in order to host memorable Games. Our city is known as the Venice of the Alps. We are blessed with a unique setting which has attracted millions of international visitors for more than a century. Annecy 2018 will use the region’s natural beauty and rich mountain legacy to organise exceptional Games.”

The bidders will continue their international tour next week by taking part in Sport Accord from April 3-8 in London, then in the IOC presentation summit in Lausanne in May.