France revamps its plan to host 2018 Olympics

The following is an excerpt from an article posted at

Annecy officials revamped their plans to host the 2018 Winter Olympics after the IOC criticized the bid’s spread-out venues. Bid organizers said on Thursday they have decided that all competitions will take place in Annecy and Chamonix Mont-Blanc valley, “two sites that are less than an hour away from one another.”

Annecy is competing against Munich and Pyeongchang, South Korea. The IOC will select the host city in July 2011.

Last month, the IOC told Annecy officials to change their bid because the dispersed venues presented “significant” logistical challenges.

“We clearly heard the IOC’s message,” said Edgar Grospiron, the former Olympic moguls champion who leads the Annecy bid. “With the relevant elected officials, we’re therefore making intense efforts to adjust our concept and to optimize its compactness.”

According to the new plans, Annecy would host the skating and curling events, as well as the biathlon, cross-country skiing, ski jumping and the Nordic combined in the nearby towns of La Clusaz and Le Grand Bornand.

Alpine skiing and the ice hockey tournament would be held in Chamonix while the bobsleigh, luge and skeleton would be in the ski resort of La Plagne.

In their initial plans, bid officials had 10 stand-alone venues and multiple athlete villages.

“The coming weeks will be devoted to studies and to technical review, notably as to the location of the Olympic Village,” said Grospiron. “One thing is certain, this new and simplified concept will provide everyone involved in the Olympic and Paralympic Games with a unique experience, at an exceptional competition venue that is filled with history.”

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