The Failed Bid for Lyon ’68, and France’s Winter Olympics from Grenoble ’68 to Annecy 2018: French Politics, Civil Society and Olympic Mega-Events
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The failure of Paris to host the Summer Olympic Games of 2012 focused attention on France’s relationship with the IOC and on the internal functionings of her Olympic Movement. Paris also lost out to Barcelona for the 1992 Games, but France did stage the 1992 Winter Games in Albertville, echoing the success of the 1968 Winter Olympics, held in Grenoble during the heydays of Gaullism. France’s winning bid for the 1968 Winter Games and the general national popularity of the event obscured the fact that Lyon had been a rejected candidate for the 1968 Summer Games. The sporting, political, diplomatic and economic background to what became a forgotten element of France’s Olympic history sheds interesting light on how Gaullist governments of the 1960s aimed to harness the developmental impetus of Olympic mega-events to their project for France, and how French cities and regions hoped to instrumentalize the Olympics in their own ‘regional’ agendas. Both the failure of Lyon’s bid and the success of the Grenoble Games affected France’s relationship with the IOC and set patterns of French thinking about sports mega-events at municipal, regional and national levels. This chapter analyses Lyon’68 as a failed bid for the Summer Games eventually awarded to Mexico City, Grenoble’68 and Albertville’92 as successful bids, and the prospective candidacy of Annecy for the Winter Games of 2018, examining bidding processes and municipal and national politics and the hosting and event staging of France’s two Winter Olympics so far.
KeywordsCivil Society Sport Facility Summer Game Elite Sport French State
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