#1 - Origins of the bid


Paris 1992, Paris 2008, Paris 2012, and also Lille 2004. In the past thirty years France has repeatedly expressed its desire to host the summer Olympic Games. In vain.

The most recent disappointment for hosting the summer Olympics dates back to 6 July 2005, in Singapore, where the IOC chose London instead of Paris to organise the 2012 Games. This was a blow for France as a whole, and in particular for French sport.

In the wake of this, Henri Sérandour, then Chairman of the French Olympic and Sporting Committee (CNOSF), decided to keep up the momentum and launch a new bid, this time for organising the 2018 Winter Olympics. At the end of a new selection process of applicant cities, Annecy was finally chosen by the French Committee on 18 March 2009.

Unfortunately, on 6 July 2011 in Durban (South Africa), the South Korean city of PyeongChang was chosen to host the 2018 Winter Olympics, Annecy having won only seven votes.

However, this did not make French sport give up its international and Olympic ambitions. Which is why the then twice Olympic canoeing champion, Tony Estanguet, flag bearer of the French Olympic team in Beijing, who had been designated by the French Committee for election to the IOC Athletes’ Commission on 15 March 2011, was actively campaigning to this end during the 2012 London Olympic Games.

The end of that year was marked by the creation of the International Strategic Committee (CSI), set up within the French National Centre for Sports Development on 20 December 2012.

The CSI, which was co-chaired by David Douillet – then French Minister for Sports – and Denis Masseglia, announced that very day the launch of a study on recent French bids to host the Olympic Games. This was awarded by the Ministry and CNOSF to Keneo, an agency whose CEO was Étienne Thobois, who had participated in the Atlanta Olympics (badminton) and was experienced in the bidding process, having been involved in the Paris 2012 bid.


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