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Bids for the 2018 Winter Olympics

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Bids for the 2018 Winter Olympics

Bids for the
2018 (2018) Winter Olympics and Paralympics
XXIII Olympic Winter Games
XII Paralympic Winter Games
Logo of the campaign.
Munich · Annecy
Committee IOC
Election venue Durban
123rd IOC Session
Location of the bidding cities
Location of the bidding cities
Important dates
Bid October 15, 2009
Decision July 6, 2011
Winner Pyeongchang (63 votes)
Runner-up Munich (25 votes)

Three cities applied with bids to host the 2018 Winter Olympics and Paralympics (also known as XXIII Olympic Winter Games and XII Paralympic Winter Games) in October 2009. The International Olympic Committee, under the leadership of Jacques Rogge, received three bids on October 15, 2009. The cities of Annecy, France in the French Alps, Munich, Germany (host of the 1972 Summer Olympics), and Pyeongchang, South Korea, a two-time previous bidder, competed for the hosting rights to the event. This was the lowest number of bidding cities since the 1988 Summer Olympics, coincidentally also won by South Korea. The winning bid was announced on July 6, 2011 at the 123rd IOC Session in Durban, South Africa by IOC President Jacques Rogge at 5.22 pm local time[1] Pyeongchang beat Munich and Annecy in the first round of votes with 63 of the 95 total votes.[2][3]

Bidding calendar

  • July 31, 2009 – IOC invited bid applicants from NOCs.
  • October 15, 2009 – Application Deadline
  • December 2–5, 2009 – Applicant City Seminar – IOC Headquarters – Lausanne, Switzerland
  • March 15, 2010 – Application Files Due
  • June 22, 2010 – Candidate City Selection
  • January 11, 2011 – Submission of candidature files and guarantees
  • February – March 2011 – Evaluation Commission Site Visits
  • May 10, 2011 – Evaluation Commission Report Released
  • May 18–29, 2011 – Bid cities briefing, Lausanne
  • July 6, 2011 – Winner Announced at 123rd IOC Session – Durban, South Africa

Applicant cities venues list

These venues are from the applicant cities' mini bid books. Note that the selected candidate cities, and in particular Annecy, have changed their venues plan afterwards in the final proposal to the IOC.

2018 applicant cities
Event PyeongChang Munich Annecy
Dates 9 February
25 February
9 February
25 February
9 February
25 February
Opening and closing ceremonies Alpensia (60,000) Bayern Olympiastadion (50,000) Ceremonial Plaza (Lac d'Annecy)
Alpine skiing
speed M
Jungbong Garmisch-Partenkirchen Chamonix-Mont-Blanc
Alpine skiing
speed W
Jungbong Garmisch-Partenkirchen Chamonix
Alpine skiing
technical M
Yongpyong Ski Resort Garmisch-Partenkirchen Chamonix
Alpine skiing
technical W
Yongpyong Ski Resort Garmisch-Partenkirchen Chamonix
Cross country skiing Alpensia Berchtesgaden La Clusaz
Nordic combined C-C Alpensia Berchtesgaden La Clusaz
Freestyle skiing Bokwang Zwiesel Annecy
Biathlon Alpensia Ruhpolding Le Grand-Bornand
Ski jumping Alpensia Oberstdorf La Clusaz
Snowboard Bokwang Zwiesel Annecy
Hockey Union Hockey Arena
Munchen Eishalle
Olympia Eishalle
Speed skating Science Oval Eisstadion Inzell, Inzell Annecy Oval
Figure skating Gyeongpo Olympiahalle Annecy Arena
Short track Gyeongpo Olympiahalle Annecy Arena
Curling Gangneung Ice Arena
Olympia Sports Hall Annecy
Bobsleigh/luge/skeleton Alpensia National Sliding Centre Schönau am Königsee La Plagne

Evaluation of the applicant cities

Each cell of the table provides a minimum and a maximum figure obtained by the applicant city on the specific criteria. These figures are to be compared to a benchmark which has been set at 6.

Table of scores given by the IOC Working Group to assess the quality and feasibility of the 2018 Applicant cities
Criteria Weight Munich Annecy Pyeongchang
Min Max Min Max Min Max
Governmental support, legal issues, public opinion 2 7.5 8.5 6.9 8.6 8.4 9.0
General infrastructure 5 8.0 9.0 5.4 6.9 6.7 8.0
Sport venues 4 7.0 8.6 5.6 6.9 6.8 8.5
Olympic Village(s) 3 6.2 7.6 4.5 5.8 6.2 7.9
Environmental conditions and impact 2 7.8 8.8 6.6 7.9 7.2 8.5
Accommodation 5 9.3 9.8 6.1 7.2 9.3 9.8
Transport concept 3 8.0 8.8 5.5 7.5 8.3 9.0
Safety and security 3 7.5 8.5 7.0 8.5 7.5 8.5
Experience from past sport events 3 9.0 10.0 9.0 10.0 8.0 9.0
Finance 3 6.7 8.6 6.9 8.5 6.9 8.3
Overall project and legacy 3 8.0 9.0 4.0 7.0 8.0 9.0

All three bidding cities were short-listed.

Candidate cities overview

All three cities suggested hosting the Games between February 9–25, 2018. The Paralympics will be held from March 9–18.


Annecy 2018 Winter Olympics bid logo.
Votes 7
Country France

At first, the French Olympic Committee (CNOSF) was quite reluctant in bidding for a Winter Games, preferring to focus on a bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics.[4] However, four cities (Annecy, Grenoble, Nice and Pelvoux) expressed interest in hosting the 2018 games. On September 24, 2008, the Olympic Committee announced it had granted these wishes and would bid in 2011.[5] Annecy was elected as the official candidate city by the French NOC on March 18, 2009.[6] The CNOSF acknowledged its tough competition, but intended to learn from the failure of Paris to secure the Summer Olympics recently with victory in Annecy,[7] maintaining a humble approach.[8]

Previous bid head Edgar Grospiron, Olympic skiing champion, stated, "we have exceptional, spectacular scenery with Mount Blanc, economic strength with one million tourists every year, and so we believe that our bid is credible. We want to invite the world to a party in a world famous resort". Grospiron was being assisted by IOC members and former Olympians Jean-Claude Killy and Guy Drut.[9] However, his demission on December 12, 2011 raised questions on the viability of the bid.[10] On January 10, 2011, Charles Beigbeder was named as the new CEO for the Annecy bid. In addition, Olympic champions Jean-Pierre Vidal and Pernilla Wiberg were appointed as Vice Presidents of the bid. Beigbeder said he would seek more financial support for the bid from the private sector. Also announced with Beigbeder's appointment was the selection of Pierre Mirabaud as Director General of the bid. Mirabaud had been a regional government prefect, experience which Beigbeder said was needed by the bid.[11]

Mt. Blanc, near Annecy

On February 12, 2011, the IOC evaluation commission completed its four-day inspection of the Annecy bid. During a brief press conference, commission chair Gunilla Lindberg was cautious in her praise of Annecy. On a positive note, she told reporters: "We have during our visit witnessed very strong governmental support which the bid enjoys and this was highlighted by the presence of the President Sarkozy and many members of his cabinet throughout the visit. I think the bid committee of Annecy has listened to the comments made by the IOC [criticism of the spread-out venues in June] and there has been a big improvement, especially not having so many competition venues as was proposed." But there was no glowing assessment of the Annecy bid from Lindberg. The Swedish IOC member also gave no clue about any concerns that had arisen during the inspection team's four-day stay in the French Alpine town.[12]

French President Nicolas Sarkozy also travelled to Annecy to meet with the IOC Evaluation Commission inspecting the city's bid for the 2018 Winter Olympic Games. "The government will do everything possible, you can be sure, so that Annecy, applicant for the 2018 Winter Olympics, will be chosen," Sarkozy said. "Annecy's victory will be the victory of the entire nation, standing behind you."[13] While pledging his support for the bid he said "you are trying hard. It's difficult. Your opponents are extremely powerful but I'm with you. If we win the Games it will be fantastic. And if we don't win, all we did will be useful for your cities and your region".[14]

The territory that was proposed to host the Games is concentrated in Annecy and Mont Blanc where 65% of the venues were already built and "the world's leading winter sports destination". In a reference to difficult snow conditions at the [15] Annecy is a smaller city, so the whole department of Haute-Savoie would have been used, including world famous ski resorts like Chamonix, Megève, La Clusaz, Morzine and Le Grand Bornand. Spread over an area with a 50 km radius, everything is within an hour of Annecy,[9] and two Olympic villages were planned.,[16] Of the 13 venues, six venues would have required permanent upgrades, two new venues were already planned to be built, and four other venues would have been built if the Games were hosted in Annecy.[17] Sliding events would have been at La Plagne, the same facilities that were used for the 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville and which were upgraded in 2008.[16]

However, in June 2010, the IOC criticized Annecy's bid stating that the competition venues were excessively dispersed. The IOC report was highly critical over the original venue plan, saying it would "present major operational and financial challenges" that would "affect the Games experience for all client groups, particularly athletes". On October 4, 2010 Annecy's leaders unveiled a new "ultra-compact" venue concept in response to the IOC concerns. Under the reworked venue plans, all ice and snow events would take place within a 21-mile radius at two main bases, Annecy and Chamonix, which are less than an hour apart and linked by motorway and the "Games Train". All alpine skiing would take place in Chamonix, which would also host ice hockey. All freestyle skiing and snowboard were centered on Annecy. Curling was relocated to Annecy, the hub of most ice sports, meaning that the Olympic Village would have been a little bigger than previously, to accommodate 2,500 athletes and officials. The revised bid moved the second Olympic Village (1,500 beds) from the Mont Blanc valley into the center of Chamonix.[18]

On March 28, 2011, the CAO (Annecy Anti-Olympic Committee) stated that it wanted to tell people about what "not only the excesses of the Olympics, the sport business, the financial stakes of multinationals and unacceptable demands of the IOC, but also on adverse impacts on the environment and on uncontrolled public spending with long-term debt for the Olympic city". The group said it had collected 13,140 names for its petition opposing plans to bring the Winter Olympics to Annecy. In a press release issued on the 28th, the opposition group cited information reported exclusively by media outlet Around the Rings that an IOC poll showed only 51 percent of the local population supports the Annecy candidacy.[19]

Bid costs were US$ 21 million. Venue construction was set for $419 million and transport/infrastructure costs (including some already planned and some dependent on the Games) was $2.1 billion.[17] Among the transport costs were a new high-capacity gondola connection between Flaine and Mont-Blanc,and a train link. The nearest airport service would have been in Lyon and Geneva (35 minutes by car).[16] Public support for the bid was 88% across France and 81% in the Annecy region.[20]

Annecy's logo featured the French Alps, specifically Mt. Blanc, as well as suggesting the letter "A" for Annecy.


Munich 2018 Winter Olympics bid logo.
Votes 25
Country Germany

Munich hosted the 1972 Summer Olympics, and if selected would have been the first city to host both the Summer and Winter Games.[21] Berlin and Hamburg were considering a summer games bid for 2024 or 2028, but the German Olympic Committee put priority on the Munich bid.[22] After Salzburg's failure to capture the 2014 bid,[23] Germany felt it has a better chance and would have preferred the Olympics sooner rather than later.[24] Munich's bid head was figure skating superstar Katarina Witt, replacing skiing star/filmmaker/entrepreneur Willy Bogner, Jr.[25] who had to step down due to health reasons.

Munich stressed an environmental approach and would have used existing venues in Munich (some from the 1972 Games), and existing venues in the Bavarian mountain resorts of Garmisch-Partenkirchen (location of the 1936 Winter Olympics) and Schönau am Königssee, an hour away by car.[26] Fifteen competition venues were proposed – eight exist, three would have required construction and four would have been temporary. To take environmental responsibility, new venue construction would be on existing sites in order to minimize land use. Ice events would have been held in Munich in addition to the existing Olympic Stadium for ceremonies. The Olympic swimming pool would have been adapted into a curling venue, figure skating and short track would have been at Olympic hall, a hockey arena would have been on the site of the old cycling stadium, and a second ice hockey arena and a speed skating oval would have been dismantled and used elsewhere after the Games. Garmisch-Partenkirchen Snow Park would have housed nine snow venues, Both locations would have had Olympic villages. In the district of Berchtesgadener Land, located in close proximity of the border to Salzburg, Austria, the historic Koenigssee Sliding Center was renovated for the World Championships in 2011 for hosting bobsleigh, luge and skeleton.[27]

Central Munich with the Olympicpark in the far background

The Green Party and several ecological associations opposed the bid. Arguments included the lack of natural snow, the environmental costs of artificial snow, using green land for temporary sites, road construction projects that would have caused a lasting increase of transit traffic, the financial risk, and the imposition of unnegotiable clauses by the IOC.[28] As these points received increasing attention, public support for the bid diminished. While a 2009 poll gave 75.5% support of Munich residents and 68% across Germany, in spring 2010 these numbers were down to 69% and 64%, respectively.[29] The bid proved highly divisive in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, where more than 50 farmers refused to allow the use of their grounds.[30] Before, similar refusal of farmers to cooperate had forced the planners to abandon Oberammergau as site of the Nordic competitions. As a replacement, a state-owned stud near Ohlstadt was chosen, which is located 200 meters lower than Oberammergau and more often than not is snow free in February.[28]

On February 22, 2011, land owners in Garmisch-Partenkirchen supporting the 'Nolympia' initiative began collecting signatures under efforts to force a vote to decide whether the town would back the bid. "The Olympic Winter Games are too big for Garmisch-Partenkirchen. With more than fifty events in the snow cluster there are almost five times as many events as the world ski championships," said Nolympia backer Axel Doering. "Our goal is to win a referendum, so that the contracts be reviewed. Another goal is to finally show that the alleged "huge majority" [of support] for the Olympic Winter Games is a myth," he added. Munich's bid plans called for the leasing of land from private land owners for the Games.[31] The then-German Olympic committee President Thomas Bach said complaints by landowners in Garmisch-Partenkirchen were not a problem for the bid. "It's not a problem at all because for the field of play, it's one piece of land with 800 square meters. The piece of land was there for the alpine world championships six weeks before," said Bach. He added "we have seen this at the world championships they were all going down on this very slope and they will go down in 2018, hopefully."[11]

On February 28, 2011 the IOC evaluation commission traveled to Munich and to the other cities, in which competitions would be held. The 1972 Olympic Stadium in Garmisch-Partenkirchen was the high point of the IOC's tour. IOC Evaluation Commission chair Gunilla Lindberg said her inspection team had "absolutely felt the atmosphere and passion" for the Olympics at the end of its four-day inspection of the Munich bid. "The general impression is that it is a strong bid with strong governmental support. It is a good team on the bid committee and Germany is a big winter sports country used to organizing competitions." The then-IOC vice-president Thomas Bach insisted that 2018 was a good time for the IOC and Olympic Movement to bring the Games to the traditional winter sports city of Munich to "recharge the batteries after having been to new regions, with 2014 to Sochi and 2016 to Rio".[32] German chancellor Angela Merkel said Munich had a "very good chance" of winning the race to host the 2018 Winter Olympics. She added, "The world can look forward to Germany hosting the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games 2018."[33]

In addition to its historical strength as a passionate winter sports nation,[34] figure skating superstar Katarina Witt promoted the bid,[7] as well as 2010 Winter Olympics star alpine skier Maria Riesch and Olympic champion Bavarian biathlete Magdalena Neuner.[35] Within the IOC, Munich had a strong ally with IOC vice president Thomas Bach, whom, it was thought, could swing the vote to Munich, even though the 2014 Games will have been held in Europe as well.[36] Nevertheless, Munich was already considering a bid for 2022 even before the 2018 bid failed.[22]

Organizers budgeted US$42 million for the bid and US$331 million for venues with $143 million budgeted for an ice hockey arena. $743 million was allotted for new and planned transportation improvements.

The slogan of the Games was Die Spiele im Herzen (The games at heart) and it was also being tagged as "the friendly Games". The logo was a stylized M, reminiscent of the Bavarian mountain silhouettes as well as the awnings in Munich's Olympic Park.[37]


Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics bid logo.
Votes 63
Country South Korea

After losing the bids for the 2010 and 2014 Winter Olympics, Gangwon Province Gov. Jin-sun Kim announced in September 2007 that Pyeongchang would bid a third time. He cited increased knowledge of the bidding process and the enthusiasm of residents as reasons to keep trying.[38][39] According to a survey by The Chosun Ilbo on December 23, 2009, 91.4% of Koreans, 93.4% of Pyeongchang and Jeongseon residents, and 93% of Gangwon residents supported the 2018 Winter Olympics bid.[40] South Korea's figure skating superstar and 2010 Olympic champion Kim Yuna and IOC member and Samsung Group chairman Lee Kun-hee promoted the bid.[41][42] The Samsung Chairman and principal owner Lee Kun-hee, given a 3-year suspended sentence for tax evasion and illegal bond dealing, was reportedly pardoned by the South Korean president Lee Myung-bak with the hope that his connections and financial support would boost the chances of Pyeongchang.[43]

On February 16, 2011, the IOC Evaluation Commission arrived in Korea for inspection of Pyeongchang’s bid. "We have seen great progress in the bid from the two previous bids," commission chairwoman Gunilla Lindberg said. "We have also seen progress in Korean winter sports during the last four years." Speaking at the IOC news conference following the inspection of Pyeongchang and venues in Gangwon Province, Lindberg said "I must also mention the passionate support of Gangwon residents. During our site visits it has been wonderful to see so many people to show their support to bring the Olympic Movement to Korea."[44]

Skiing in Pyeongchang

Seven venues had been built since the previous bids, including ski jumping slopes, and biathlon and cross-country skiing courses.[45][46] Pyeongchang would be a compact Olympic Games,[47] with travel times of less than 30 minutes between the main accommodation in Alpensia resort and the venues and 10 minutes between venues.[48] A new 250 km per hour KTX line will be built between Seoul and Wonju via Pyeongchang putting Pyeongchang within 50 minutes of Seoul.[49]

German reporter Dietmar Gessner from Sport Bild said that "in Asia including Korea you can create more customers. You can make lots of money for winter sports."[50]

Pyeongchang’s slogan is “New Horizons.” The bid's logo suggests the winter scenery of Pyeongchang with snow on the mountains. The curve implies a will to win and symbolizes a snowboard and slope of winter sports.[51]

Table results of the 2018 Winter Olympics and Winter Paralympics

2018 Winter Olympics bidding results
candidate City NOC Round 1
Pyeongchang  South Korea 63
Munich  Germany 25
Annecy  France 7

Pyeongchang's first round victory was one of the most decisive victories in Olympic voting history.[52] Pyeongchang's 63 vote count is the highest votes ever recorded for a first round bid for a hosting of an IOC Olympic Game. The previous record was held by Salt Lake City with 54 votes for the 2002 Winter Olympics.

Potential cities overview

These cities launched bids or indicated interest, but ultimately did not bid to the IOC.

Almaty bid for the 2014 Winter Olympics, but did not make the short list.[54]

The Ukrainian government announced in 2006 that Ukraine's popular Bukovel ski and snowboard resort was expanding in expectation of a bid.[55][56]

In the western Anatolia mountains, some events would be at the Uludağ National Park.

  • China

Li Zhanshu, governor of Heilongjiang Province, expressed interest for Harbin, host of the 2009 Winter Universiade, or possibly Changchun.[57] Xinhua reported neither city will bid due to a number of reasons including weak infrastructure.[58]

  • France

Gap looked at the idea of a bid, but withdrew it in September 2008.[5] The cities of Grenoble, Nice, and Pelvoux also expressed interest to the French Olympic Committee, but were passed over for Annecy.[59]

Geneva planned to launch a bid pending a public referendum,[60] but the city decided to bid in 2022 instead.[61][62] The Swiss Olympic Committee did not support the bid.[63][64]

A 2007 report indicated the New Zealand Olympic Committee suggested a bid for a combined QueenstownDunedin bid.[66][67][68][69]

The new government did not show the same enthusiasm of bidding as the previous one. The political change was already made during a bid by the Swedish Olympic Committee. It would have been the eighth attempt at bidding in the Winter Olympics, after many bids finished as runner ups.[70]

After losing a bid for the 2010 games, the host of the 1984 Winter Olympics expressed interest in bidding for the 2018 games.[71]

Vessela Lecheva, BOC chairwoman announced plans to have at least one project for a multifunctional hall in Sofia to improve chances after three failed bids.[56][72] Sofia also bid for the 2016 Winter Youth Olympics but lost to Lillehammer.

  • Norway

Tromsø beat Trondheim and the joint-bid OsloLillehammer.[73] The bid cost became contentious in Norway,[74] National support was also low, with only 38% in favor of the bid; however bid head Petter Rønningen cited polls showing stronger support.[75] Finally the application was withdrawn due to a lack of support.[76] The cost for Tromsø games was assessed to much higher that the 15 billion NOK assumed at decision, since every arena would need to be new built or heavily rebuilt.

Bohinj mayor Franc Kramar proposed a bid with seven other mayors in Upper Carniola region.[77]

  • United States

Denver, Colorado (previously chosen to host the 1976 Winter Olympics, but eventually declined the games),[78] RenoLake Tahoe, Nevada–California,[79][80] and 2002 host Salt Lake City, Utah.[81] expressed interest. The USOC declined to bid, focusing on the unsuccessful Chicago 2016 Olympic bid instead,[82] and will not bid until at least the 2024 Summer Olympics.[83]

There were initiatives to present Zaragoza.[84][85][86] However, the mayor announced they would reserve the bid for the 2022 Winter Olympics,[87] reasoning it would be unlikely for Europe to be awarded due to the unofficial continental rotation policy, giving the failure of Madrid's bid for the 2016 Summer Olympics as an example.

Predicting indices

Two websites, and Around the Rings, feature predicting indices which specialize in evaluations of Olympic Games bids. They periodically release analysis of the candidates and assigns them a score between 0 and 100, or 0 and 110 respectively. The score produces a number that can be used to rate a bid relative to past successful bids – and possibly gauge its potential future success.'s scale is called BidIndex,[88] ATR's is called the Power Index.[89][90]

PowerIndex predicted that Munich would win, while BidIndex predicted that PyeongChang would win. Annecy was at a distant third, lagging behind 13 points in the BidIndex and 10 points behind in the PowerIndex. Ratings for the BidIndex are from April 2011 and rating for the PowerIndex are from June 2011.

Olympic rings. Unofficial indices
Candidate BidIndex[a] PowerIndex[b]
Munich 64.99 83
Pyeongchang 66.29 79
Annecy 53.85 69


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  76. ^ "Tromsø's application withdrawn".  
  77. ^ Upper Carniola for 2018 Winter Olympics (Slovene)
  78. ^ "Colorado Governor Considers 2018 Winter Games Bid". 
  79. ^ "Reno-Taho 2018 Bid 9.20.07". 
  80. ^ Jones, Jay (December 27, 2007). "Olympic flames An effort to bring the 2018 Winter Olympics to the region may bring home the gold (again)". CHICO COMMUNITY PUBLISHING. Retrieved October 3, 2009. 
  81. ^ Kersten Swinyard (February 18, 2006). "Salt Lake in 2018 or 2022? '02 success spurring a new Games bid". 
  82. ^ Gomez, Brian (January 7, 2009). "USOC will not bid for 2018 Winter Olympics".  
  83. ^ "Nevada Plans For 2018 Winter Bid". 
  84. ^ Lissavetzky dice que la idea de optar a los Juegos es "interesante" y que la estudiará (Spanish)
  85. ^ Olympic Zaragoza? (Spanish)
  86. ^ Belloch se compromete a que la proeza de la Expo no sea un episodeo "efímero" (Spanish)
  87. ^ Belloch retrasa la candidatura olímpica a 2022 porque "2018 tiene el inconveniente de la rotación (Spanish)
  88. ^ "PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Bid Continues to lead BidIndex; Annecy Gains Ground". January 10, 2011. Retrieved February 19, 2011. 
  89. ^ "Around the Rings". Around the Rings. September 14, 2012. 
  90. ^ "ATR Olympic Bid Power Index – One Month To Go, Munich Edges Ahead". Around the Rings. June 6, 2011. Retrieved June 11, 2011. 

External links

  • web site
  • PyeongChang 2018 web site

Applicant bid books

  • PyeongChang Applicant bid book
  • Annecy Applicant bid book
  • Munich Applicant bid book

Candidature files

  • PyeongChang
  • Annecy
  • Munich

Eliminated candidates
  • Pelvoux Écrins 2018 web site
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