July 31 - The International Olympic Committee (IOC) today officially launched the process to find a city to follow Sochi in 2014 and host the 2018 Winter Games.



The winning city will be chosen on July 6, 2011, at the IOC Session in Durban.



That date will mark six years to the day that London was chosen to host the 2012 Olympics at the IOC Session in SIngapore.


Potential candidates already declared include Annecy in France, Pyeongchang in South Korea and Munich, which is bidding to become the first city to host both the Summer and Winter Olympics.


Denver are also expected to enter the race if Chicago fails to win the vote to host the 2016 Olympics, a decision due to be taken by the IOC at its Session in Copenhagen on October 2.


The South Korean Olympic committee agreed in April to back Pyeongchang's latest attempt after it lost out narrowly to Vancouver for the 2010 Games and to Sochi for 2014.


It lost out by three votes to Vancouver when the IOC voted for the 2010 Games at its Session in Prague in 2003 and by four votes to Sochi at the Session in Guatemala City in 2007.


France's Olympic Committee voted in March to propose Annecy ahead of rival offers from Grenoble, Nice and Pelvoux.


Munich, which hosted the 1972 Summer Olympics, already has assembled a star-studded team to help its bid.

Its board of trustees steering the bid includes two-time Olympic figure skating champion Katarina Witt and Germany's former World Cup winning captain and manager Franz Beckenbauer, who also helped bring the 2006 World Cup to Germany, which he also organised.

The IOC said that national Olympic bodies must formally propose their candidate by October 15.


Bid teams must attend the Vancouver Games next February as observers, then formally apply two weeks later.

The IOC's ruling Executive Board will accept the official candidates and publish a short list in June 2010 to begin a second phase of the process.

Cities must then submit a candidate file to IOC headquarters in Lausanne by January 11, 2011.

An IOC Evaluation Committee will visit the cities in the following weeks, and produce a report for IOC members one month before the election.


All relevant information and deadlines relating to the first phase of the 2018 bid process are contained in the Candidature Acceptance Procedure.


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