By Duncan Mackay
British Sports Internet Writer of the Year

September 13 - Sweden's Gunilla Lindberg (pictured) will be head of the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) Evaluation Commission that will assess the three cities bidding to host the 2018 Winter Olympics and Paralympics, it was announced today.

The 63-year-old, who was the IOC vice-president from 2004 and 2008, has been chosen because of her vast experience earned working on Coordination Commissions for five Olympic Games and her role with the Evaluation Commission for the 2006 Turin Olympic Winter Games.

"It is a great honour for me to have been chosen to head such an important commission within the IOC," said Lindberg.

"I very much look forward to working with my highly qualified colleagues in evaluating the bids from three excellent Candidate Cities."

She will head an 11-strong panel that will visit Munich, Annecy and Pyeongchang in that order between February 8 and March 5 next year before producing a report that is due to be published a month before the IOC Session in Durban on July 6, 2011, where the host city to follow Sochi will be chosen.

Among the other members of the panel will be newly-elected IOC members America's Angela Ruggiero, a four-time Olympic ice hockey medallist, including gold in 1998, who will be the IOC Athletes Commission representative, and New Zealand's Barry Maister, who won a gold medal in hockey at the 1976 Games in Montreal.

They will be joined by Gilbert Felli, the IOC's Swiss Executive Director for the Olympic Games, Americans Dwight Bell, representing the Association of International Olympic Winter Games Federations, and Ann Cody, representing the International Paralympic Committee and Japan's Tsunekazu Takede, a representative of the Association of National Olympic Committees.

There are also and advisers four advisers Australia's Simon Balderstone on environment, Switzerland's Philippe Bovy on transport, Canada's John McLaughlin on finance and America's Grant Thomas on infrastructure.

"The Evaluation Commission will be well-served by the appointment of Gunilla Lindberg as its chair,” said IOC President Jacques Rogge.

"Ms Lindberg has extensive knowledge of what it takes to host an Olympic Games, in particular a Winter Games, and possesses all the skills necessary to lead our team of experts and make the best possible analyses of the three Candidate Cities."

Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]