By Duncan Mackay
British Sports Internet Writer of the Year

Nicolas Sarkozy in Savoy(1)April 23 - Nicolas Sarkozy (pictured) has promised to "do everything possible" to help Annecy beat rivals Munich and Pyeongchang and win its bid to host the 2018 Winter Olympics and Paralympics.

The French President used an official visit to Savoy region to commemorate the area becoming part of France to reaffirm his support for the bid.

He said: "The Government will do everything possible, you can be sure, so that Annecy, will be chosen.

"Annecy’s victory will be the victory of the entire nation, standing behind you."

Sarkozy had last month written to International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Jacques Rogge to confirm that he was fully behind Annecy's campaign.

Sarkozy's high-profile backing for the bid is a major boost as it is seen as the outsider in a race that is expected to be dominated by Munich, seeking to become the first city in Olympic history to host both the Summer and Winter Games, and Pyeongchang, the South Korean candidate who are bidding for a third consecutive time having narrowly missed out on the 2010 and 2014 Games.

Edgar Grospiron, the chief executive of Annecy 2018, said: "We are proud that the French chief of state is clearly backing Annecy 2018 and we are particularly moved that he made his announcement on the occasion of such a historic event for France."

Savoy was absorbed into France in 1860, as part of the political agreement with Napoleon III that brought about the unification of Italy.

A decision on which city is due to host the 2018 Games is due to be made by the IOC at its Session in Durban on July 6, 2011.

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