Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Annecy 2018 promises new vision for the 2018 Games

Triple Olympic Champion, Jean-Claude Killy today promised the IOC a "new vision" for the Winter Games "combining passion and tradition for Winter Sports with savoir-faire” to “benefit us all". Killy emphasized that Annecy’s bid is built on "excellence" and "harnesses all the great history of Winter Sports in France to look towards the future". With an eye on the future of sport he noted that: "we must constantly take into account the fast changing world in which we live and therefore never rest on our laurels".
Bid President, Charles Beigbeder, who led the presentation team which included a total of seven Olympic Gold Medals, explained further how Annecy 2018 would address the challenges facing sport in the 21st Century by using the authentic global platform of the world’s No.1 Winter Sports destination to "capture the imagination of the world" and promote the Games "not just in one city, one country, or one continent, but all over the world". In an impassioned speech Beigbeder said that Annecy wished to work in partnership with the IOC to "maintain the position of the Olympic Winter Games as one of the world’s greatest sports events".
Beigbeder and Killy were supported during the 45-minute technical presentation and 45-minute question and answer session, at the Olympic Museum in Lausanne, by: Guy Drut, Olympic Champion and IOC Member; Pernilla Wiberg and Jean-Pierre Vidal, Olympic Gold Medalists and Vice-Presidents of Annecy 2018; Jean-Luc Rigaut, Mayor of Annecy; and Denis Masseglia, President of the French National Olympic Committee.
Speaking on behalf of the Government was French Sports Minister, Chantal Jouanno, who expanded on how Annecy 2018 would help promote the sustainable development of Winter Sports and the Olympic Movement by stating: "Annecy is the world's leading destination for winter sports. It offers an unrivalled global platform for the Games, with 10 million visitors from more than 100 countries coming to our region every year. The region thus offers 70 million visitors to whom we can promote Olympism over the next seven years.
She added: “Sustainable development is at the heart of Annecy’s vision. We want to use the Games to deliver a new blueprint for the long-term growth of winter sports
During her speech, Ms Jouanno also read out a message from President Sarkozy reaffirming the Government’s strong support for the bid. Guy Drut, Jean-Pierre Vidal, Pernilla Wiberg and Denis Masseglia all highlighted the benefits of having athletes centrally involved with Annecy’s plans.
Double Olympic Champion, Wiberg, observed that "thanks to the athletes’ involvement, Annecy will deliver an exceptional athlete experience" bringing the "snow and ice families together" to "give every athlete, official, spectator and sponsor a chance to enjoy a rich, all-around Winter Games experience".
While, Summer Olympic Gold Medalist, Guy Drut, focused on the long-term benefits created by "a hub of sporting excellence for all athletes…from all over the world". He also reassured his colleagues on the IOC that Annecy would be "responsible and enthusiastic guardians of the Olympic Flame and return it to the IOC stronger".
Mayor of Annecy, Jean-Luc Rigaut, spoke of the "incredible experience" that would be enjoyed by all visitors along with the "culture and celebration, in the heart of our communities and venues".
A range of technical detail and visual information was shared with the IOC members along with three films. The films included a specially created showcase of the extensive athlete support for the bid which featured former World footballer of the Year, Zinezine Zidane; Olympic Champion athlete Mary Jose Perec and World Cup winning football manager, Aime Jacquet.
Following the presentation, Charles Beigbeder thanked the IOC for inviting Annecy 2018 to present to them, stating: "We are enormously grateful to the IOC for giving us this opportunity to share our vision of Games that would benefit Winter Sports worldwide (...) In this final phase of the campaign it is vital we continue to meet with people from the Olympic Family, listen to their feedback, and learn from their experiences. With just under 50 days to go our team will be doing everything they can to convince the IOC that Annecy 2018 is the best bid for the entire Olympic Movement".
Annecy is bidding with Munich and PyeongChang, for the right to host the 2018 Winter Olympic Games. The election of the host city will take place on 6th July during the 123rd IOC Session in Durban, South Africa.

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