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  • On the Scene -- 2018 Cities Ready for Date With IOC in Durban


    The International Convention Centre, site of the IOC Session in Durban. (ATR)
    Three Days to Go…

    Annecy, Munich and PyeongChang are each going through their paces at rehearsals of the final presentations each will give July 6. With one expert estimating that up to one-third of IOC members may be undecided going into the vote Tuesday, making the right impression in the final presentation is a key to victory.

    The three cities plan press conferences Monday to help feed the news cycles of the hometown media covering their bids as well as the small corps of international media paying attention to this low-key contest.

    Annecy 2018 chief Charles Beigbeder did his best to warm the temperature of the room with veiled shots at Munich and PyeongChang in an interview with Agence France Presse.

    “We have a vision that serves the entire world, not one country and one continent," said Beigbeder. And he dismissed the idea that it’s Asia’s turn for the Games, invoking comments of French IOC member and Winter Olympic great Jean-Claude Killy.

    “Rotation can also be of visions rather than geography," is how Beigbeder quoted Killy.

    Munich Mayor Christian Ude arriving at Durban airport. (ATR)
    Monday afternoon Beigbeder will host his final press conference ahead of the IOC vote.

    Munich 2018 bid leaders Bernhard Schwank and Michael Vesper joined forces Sunday with Mayor Christian Ude to promote the sustainability of the Bavarian bid.

    “After the Games, our energy-plus Olympic Village will become affordable housing units for low income families and address a real social need. The Olympic Park has already been a center for sports, culture and entertainment for 40 years and we want to renew that legacy,” said Ude about the 1972 Olympic venues that are included in the Munich 2018 plan.

    Famed figure skater and Munich 2018 chair Katarina Witt will front a Monday afternoon briefing for the bid.

    PyeongChang will open its press salvo Monday morning with an interview with Korean President Myung Bak Lee
    Volunteers at the Durban airport. (ATR)
    conducted by news agencies with Around the Rings participating. The Korean bid will hold a late afternoon press conference with its bid leadership, including Vancouver 2010 gold medalist Yu Na Kim.

    Kim and other Korean sports stars will host a demonstration with Durban youngsters at the city’s ice rink Tuesday morning.

    Most important for the three bids, IOC members begin arriving en masse Monday, about 40 of them arriving after attending the wedding this weekend of fellow IOC member Prince Albert. His presence in Durban, along with South African bride and Olympian Charlene Wittstock, is expected to generate much more local press attention than the looming bid city vote.

    IOC President Jacques Rogge arrives Monday morning at the Durban airport where he is to hold a brief press conference with IOC member Sam Ramsamy.

    Written and reported in Durban by Ed Hula.

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