Winter Games Bidding Cities React Positively to IOC Report

May 11, 2011

After the International Olympic Committee (IOC) published its evaluation report on the candidate cities to host the 2018 Winter Olympics yesterday, May 10, Annecy, Munich and PyeongChang all insist they still have a good chance of landing the Games.

The IOC released a statement confirming that no clear front runner had emerged from the report, adding: “All three candidate cities could successfully host the 2018 Olympic Winter Games, with each city offering its own distinct vision and concept.”

The South Korean bid of PyeongChang is believed to be leading the way by many having bid for the Winter Olympics twice before. The bid came out on top in opinion polls conducted on site on behalf of the IOC, with 92 per cent of locals and 87 per cent of South Koreans backing the bid.

Cho Yang-ho, bid leader of PyeongChang, told Reuters: “We are confident that PyeongChang would deliver an unforgettable Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games that have the power to inspire a new generation of winter sports athletes and provide a platform for winter sports to grow and thrive in new areas of the world.”

“I am absolutely delighted that the IOC’s report confirms that PyeongChang is considered ready to welcome the Olympic and Paralympic Games to South Korea for the first time.

“The evaluation commission’s visit was a great success and this has been highlighted in their recognition of our bid as ‘a national priority’ and that ‘all land required for the construction and operation of the competition venues has been secured.”

The German city of Munich recently survived a local referendum on its bid in the Alpine town of Garmisch-Partenkirche, and received high marks for its short travel times with the vast majority of athletes able to stay within 10 minutes of their competition venues.

Munich bid CEO Bernhard Schwank stated: “On very first reading, we are absolutely thrilled with the IOC Evaluation Commission’s report. Right now we want to offer our sincere thanks to the Commission members for their full and frank assessment of our bid’s strengths.”

Katarina Witt added: “In general it’s a very positive report which shows they appreciated the strengths of our bid, particularly as athlete-friendly Games. If there are any criticisms here and there then it just reminds us of something we can do better.”

The French bid of Annecy has long been touted as an underdog in the race but was praised for its comprehensive environmental plan and what the IOC called a “workable model for Olympic winter Games sustainability”, although the report stated that accommodation could create “operational and financial challenges”.

Annecy bid CEO Charles Beigbeder said: “Today’s report is a real boost for the bid as it highlights the technical strengths of Annecy 2018’s vision of authentic Games in the heart of the mountains, with the athletes and for the future.

“We believe this strong report will help us to convince the Olympic Family that Annecy offers the best possible and most nurturing home for the 2018 Winter and Paralympic Games.”