Annecy 2018 CEO denies controversial remarks were made about bid competitors
Durban, South Africa - Annecy 2018 Bid Chief Charles Beigbeder fended off questions from reporters Monday about controversial remarks he made to AFP a day earlier.
He had alluded to PyeongChang’s close ties to Samsung and Munich’s with partner BMW and said that Annecy wasn’t trying to win a trophy for a company.
“Things have to be said,” Beigbeder explained.
“But I’m not talking about the other bids – this would of course be unethical and against the rules so I don’t want to do so.
“We love the Games, we love Olympism, we want to strengthen it even more and to do so we propose the best of France, to be very spectacular Games with incredible mountains, with tradition, with hospitalities.
“We are not doing that for France.
“The Games are not there for a company, or for a country or for a continent – they are there for the world. They are there for all of us for billions of inhabitant on this planet, that’s what the Games are about.”
Beigbeder explained that President Nicolas Sarkozy, despite his absence from Durban, still strongly supports the bid as he has from the beginning. In his place, Prime Minister François Fillon is due to arrive Tuesday to join the Annecy delegation. Last week Sarkozy wrote personal letters to each of the IOC members.
Most of the voting IOC members arrived in Durban Monday, many on the same flight direct from Monaco where IOC Member Prince Albert’s wedding was held last week. This, interestingly, works in Annecy’s favour Beigbeder claims.
“The presentations more than ever will be extremely important,” he said.
Because the IOC members arrived later than usual, there is less time to lobby for votes and the electors will need to rely more on the presentations. Beigbeder believes Annecy will deliver a strong presentation.
He denies the common belief that Annecy is an outsider in this race.
“I don’t share this view,” he said
“Since Lausanne, this is a three-horse race.”
Beigbeder -a serial entrepreneur in industries such as energy, finance and the Internet - admitted that the Olympic bid process is very different than he’s used to.
He told GamesBids.com “It’s unique, what kind of institution would have brought me all around the world, meeting so many personalities.
“It cannot be compared.
“It’s true, you are less in control, but anyway you are happy to serve – because we enjoy being all together, we enjoy being here in Durban to present in several hours to the IOC.
“Of course we are nervous before going on stage because especially the event is broadcast all around the world.”
Annecy will be the second presenter to the IOC on Wednesday, just hours before the final vote in Durban.
GamesBids.com Producer Rob Livingstone is reporting from on-the-scene at the 123rd IOC Session in DurbanWrite or read comments about this article
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