In just over seven week’s time, on July 6, 2011, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) will choose the host city for the 2018 Olympic Winter and Paralympic Winter Games. The decision will be made at an IOC Session meeting in Durban, South Africa. Three major international cities are currently in the running - Annecy (France), Munich (Germany) and PyeongChang (Korea).
Since 2002, all IOC voting members are no longer allowed to travel to candidate cities and must rely on the bid city presentations. Only the small team that forms the evaluation committee is permitted to visit the cities, so that they can prepare the reports to share with the rest of the IOC members. Yesterday in Switzerland at the IOC Headquarters in Lausanne, each city was required to give a 45-minute technical presentation to 88 IOC members, and then be available to answer questions. Part of putting together a bid/ candidate city committee is making sure each city has the right “star” power to promote each bid. The Annecy bid includes triple Olympic alpine champion Jean-Claude Killy, Munich is led by two-time Olympic gold medalist figure skater Katarina Witt, while PyeongChang has 2010 Olympic figure skating champion Yu-Na Kim.
According to reports following the presentations, there is still no clear front runner, as each city could successfully host an excellent and well executed Winter Games. If Munich were to win, they would become the only city to have ever hosted both the Summer (1972) and Winter Olympic Games, while some of their venues include the 1936 Winter Games host city of Garmisch-Partenkirchen. Some of the events in Annecy would include the 1968 host city of Grenoble, while PyeongChang has bid twice losing out to the Games of 2010 (Vancouver) and 2014 (Sochi).
The 2018 Olympic Winter Games are to take place from February 9-24, 2018.
Contact SIRC for more information on winter sports and the Olympic Games.