By Duncan Mackay
British Sports Internet Writer of the Year

July 15 - Annecy today revealed their new plan to host the 2018 Winter Olympics and Paralympics, which they claim is more compact and meets the requirements of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

The IOC had warned the French city last month  that they risked being eliminated from the race, which also features Munich and Pyeongchang, if they did not come up with a new bid.

Following three weeks of frantic meetings, Annecy has now revealed that it will concentrate its bid around Annecy and Chamonix in the Mont Blanc Valley.

Edgar Grospiron, the chief executive of Annecy 2018, said: "We clearly heard the IOC’s message in the report published on June 22nd.

"With the relevant elected officials, we’re therefore making intense efforts to adjust our concept and to optimise its compactness."

All of the competitions will now take place in Annecy and Chamonix Mont-Blanc valley, two sites that are less than an hour away from one another and directly connected by the Games train and the motorway.

It is proposed that Annecy will host the skating and curling events, as well as the biathlon, cross-country skiing, ski jumping and Nordic combined in the nearby La Clusaz and Le Grand Bornand venues.

All of the Alpine skiing competitions and the ice hockey events will be held in at the foot of Mont Blanc in Chamonix, the host of the first ever Winter Olympics in 1924.

The bobsleigh, luge and bob skeleton will be held La Plagne, which also staged the events when Albertville hosted the 1992 Olympics.

As initially proposed, all the events for the Paralympic Games will be held in Annecy.

Grospiron said: "The coming weeks will be devoted to studies and to technical review, notably as to the location of the Olympic Village.

"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.

"It is in this spirit that we have all now completely mobilised whilst looking ahead to the major deadline of 11 January 2011, when we will provide our bid book to the IOC."

The plans were backed by Christian Monteil, the chairman of the Annecy 2018 Supervisory Board and chairman of the Haute-Savoie General Council, and Jean-Luc Rigaut, the Mayor of Annecy and bid co-chairman.

"More than ever, this bid is a project that aligns with the sporting, economic and environmental ambitions of the Savoie Mont Blanc territory," they said in a joint statement.

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