IIHF.com -- 2018 Olympic Hockey in...
There will be joy in Munich (Germany), Annecy (France) or PyeongChang (Korea).
This announcement will be made at the 123rd IOC Session in Durban, South Africa.
The cities of Munich, Annecy and PyeongChang will each have 45 minutes to make a presentation to the session, followed by 15 minutes for questions. The cities will present in the order of drawing of lots, carried out by the IOC Executive Board in December 2009.
Following the presentations by the cities, the Chair of the Evaluation Commission, Gunilla Lindberg, will address the Session on behalf of the Commission. The opening of the envelope with the winning 2018 bid is expected between 17 and 17.30 Central European Time.
Out of 110 IOC members, 103 are eligible to vote in the first round. Members from the bidding countries are not allowed to vote as long as their country's bid remains in the running.
Munich and Annecy are first-time bidders, while PyeongChang runs for the third consecutive time. The South Korean city lost by three votes to Vancouver in 2003 (for the 2010 Games) and by four votes to Sochi in 2007 (for 2014).
One of the IOC members who will vote is IIHF president René Fasel, who also is member of the IOC’s Executive Committee and chairman of the Association of International Olympic Winter Sports Federations.
Last week, Fasel was interviewed by Around the Rings
), the number-one publication in the world covering the business and politics of the Olympic movement. During his tenure as IIHF President, Fasel has overseen the Olympic ice hockey tournaments in Nagano 1998, Salt Lake City 2002, Turin 2006 and Vancouver 2010.
: What is your federation looking for in the bids from Munich, Annecy, and PyeongChang?
Rene Fasel: There are two things that are not up for discussion: safety of the players and integrity of the game. All other matters around the tournament – be it transport, accommodation or other logistical issues – can always be discussed and eventually resolved via a constructive and open dialogue.
My biggest concern is to protect the players and ensure that the Olympic audience sees a tournament showcasing hockey as it is – a safe, fast and skillful game that is just spectacular to watch.
: Have you visited the bid cities and their proposed venues for ice hockey? What concerns do you have?
Fasel: As an IOC member not sitting on the 2018 Evaluation Commission, it is not possible for me to visit any of the bid cities in the months leading up to the election. Nevertheless, over the course of the last few years, I have been to the three contending countries.
All three strike me with their welcoming hospitality, their beautiful countries as well as their drive and passion to stage the Games. No matter who wins the race for 2018, I know that all three candidates have the means and the knowledge to deliver an Olympic Winter Games of which we will all hold fond memories for years to come.
: Which city would help grow ice hockey the most if it were awarded the 2018 Winter Games?
Fasel: All three cities would help grow the sport, but each in a unique way. The German and French hosts would certainly impress the worldwide Olympic audience with their hockey crowds and their love for the game.
PyeongChang, on the other hand, would help us grow hockey's presence in Asia and let the IIHF further establish the game in the East, increasing both player and audience numbers. Both options seem equally desirable to me.
: It is more important to bring ice hockey to a country that does not necessarily have a long history and familiarity with the sport, or is it more important to stage the Games in a country where the sport is already entrenched?
Fasel: I think that the Olympic tournament has grown into such a global event that every tournament regardless of its eventual location is a success for our game.
But there are differences in how the Olympic hockey tournament impacts the local crowd. In a market where hockey is a non-traditional sport, a big event like the Games will raise awareness of ice hockey and help recruit and retain players and fans locally, regionally and nationally.
In traditional hockey markets, the Games will help strengthen hockey's position as one of the prime sports as well as make it possibly even leap over one or two other competing sports and gain more importance with fans and other supporters. I see an importance in both situations.
How they vote
The eligible IOC members will be asked to vote. In each round each participating IOC member may vote for only one city. As per the voting regulations, only those IOC members who are not nationals of countries for which there is a candidate city in a round are permitted to vote.
The votes of members not taking part in a round of voting or who abstain, as well as invalid electronic voting entries, are not taken into account in the calculation of the required majority.
If, after the first round of voting, no city obtains the absolute majority of the votes cast, as many rounds are held as necessary for a city to obtain such majority. The city receiving the least number of votes leaves the competition.
The name of this city is made public straight away and the vote continues. If only two cities remain in contention, the one that obtains the greatest number of votes is elected. The winning city is then announced by the IOC President at the Announcement Ceremony, following which the newly elected NOC and city will sign the Host City Contract.
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