Saturday, October 18, 2008

France will bid for 2018 Olympic Winter Games

France will compete to host the 2018 Olympic Winter Games, Henri Serandour, president of the French National Olympic and Sporting Committee (CNOSF), announced last September 24th. France has previously hosted three Winter Games, in 1924 in Chamonix, in 1968 in Grenoble, and in 1992 in Albertville.
The cities of Grenoble, Annecy and Nice have already stated their intention to bid to host the Games. Grenoble looks in a good position though it is rare for the same city to organise the games twice. The mayor of Grenoble Michel Destot said the town would emphasize its strong Olympic history with the hope of being nominated as hosts next year. "Grenoble has a strong Olympic past", Destot said. "It hosted the 10th winter Olympics in 1968 and has retained its faith in the Games. The decision of the CNOSF was not a big surprise but very good news that we had been hoping for for the last two years". Grenoble's bid was ratified officially at a meeting on October 6.
Serandour added that none of the three bidding host cities could take anything for granted.
"If what we are looking for does not correspond with the cities' dossier, we could very well say 'no,'" said Serandour, who added the same system used by the International Olympic Committee for selecting candidates would be used by the CNOSF. The study of the bid documents will be done by international experts with ensuing costs of up to 100,000 euros to be covered by the bidding cities. The host city will be unveiled in March 2009.
Munich and Denver are also serious candidates for the 2018 event, though Serandour played down a possible new failed bid following the failure in July 2005 in getting the 2012 Games. "I think it is better to be a candidate, even one that fails, than to be completely absent", added Serandour, who said he wanted to learn from past mistakes.
The winning bid will be announced in July 2011 at the 123rd IOC Session in Durban, South Africa.