By Tom Degun in Barcelona

Chantal_Jouanno_at_Global_Sports_Forum_Barcelona_March_10_2011March 10 - Chantal Jouanno, the French Minster of Sport, has claimed that Annecy's bid for the 2018 Winter Olympics and Paralympics is now back on an even keel with that of Munich and Pyeongchang after getting off to the worst possible start.

The French city was left reeling last year after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) warned Annecy that they needed to change their plans and make them more compact if they were to be allowed to continue in the three-horse race

The city's bid was again rocked when chief executive Edgar Grospiron stepped down at the end of last year citing a lack of guarantees over funding.

But new President Charles Beigbeder has slowly turned the situation around with Annecy getting a positive review at the recent IOC Evaluation Commission last month which was chaired by IOC Executive Board member Gunilla Lindberg of Sweden.

"We had a great IOC Evaluation Commission last month," Jouanno told insidethegames here at the Global Sports Forum Barcelona.

"We have totally changed the bid because last June we had a very bad mark from the IOC.

"But once we changed it, it had a very good IOC Evaluation Commission and now we are on the same departure line as the other bids.

"So now it is a question of marketing, communication, promotion of this bid."

Annecy has promised that they will fulfil their environmental pledges if they awarded the 2018 Winter Olympics and Paralympics.

Their plans feature three Olympic Villages, one of which will become a unique Paralympic Village.

The idea behind Annecy 2018's pioneering concept is to provide athletes with the best possible environment so that they can perform at the top of their game.

"There is really two points to this," Jouanno explained.

"The first is that we have major sportsmen and women in the Annecy 2018 team, not only being on the posters, but also having a professional role.

"They know exactly what is needed from the athlete's point of view.

"The second point is that we are trying to work on the ecological field, trying to have ecological innovations so the Olympic Games could also be the occasion to show that we can have Winter Sports that are considerate of the environment."

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