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Munich is longing for Olympia

Munich is eagerly awaiting the decision on the host city for the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games 2018

Munich is dreaming of a winter's tale: The city wants to be organiser of the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games 2018. But before this dream can come true Munich has to supplant its two competitors, Annecy (France) and Pyeongchang (South Korea). While Annecy seems not to be very highly rated by Olympia functionaries, Pyeongchang's application is excellent. South Korea is applying for the third time now and this time it gives everything to bring home success. So far, the South Korean bid has been ranked highest. So will the dream of Bavarian winter games end when the Olympic Comittee will make its decision on July, 6. in Durban, South Africa, or will Munich in the end still be able to convince the committee of its strenghts?

After a bumpy start Munich is in full swing

Shortly after Munich had declared its candidacy, the application team had a very rocky start. Not only did the former three heads of the bidding team not get along well but there were also unsolved financial questions about the budget for the campaign and many farmers who were refusing to allocate their land for the games. When former two-time winner of the Olympic ice skating competition, Katarina Witt, finally entered the scene and became the face of Munich's application, much turned for the better. With her tireless effort and her personal enthusiasm for the Olympic idea she is the ideal representative of Munich's application motto 'The Friendly Games'. Her commitment and unbroken international popularity among sports-collegues and sports fans are meanwhile said to be possibly decisive factors for the German bid. Critics, who claimed that a sports champion of the former GDR could not credibly represent the Bavarian Olympic cause, have meanwhile been taught otherwise.

Solid concept

However, it is not only due to Witt's charm that Munich is meanwhile considered a respectable applicant. Munich's bid book which illustrates countless aspects that need to be considered when holding the games was well received by the Olympic Committee. Germany scored highly in the fields of ecology and sustainability as well as financing. It has also been praised for its sports facilities concept. And when the IOC Evaluation Commission made its visit to Munich in March, it was also pleased with what it saw. There are some points of criticism, though, above all for yet unsettled land deals and moderate approval rates among Germans. In South Korea more than 85% of the population are in favor of the games. However, it must be noted that when Pyeongchang held the Biathlon World Championships in 2009 nobody really seemed to care and the spectators' stands were almost empty. So their approval seems to be more of a passive kind.

Olympic experience and lots of winter sports events

When it comes to enthusiasm for winter sports events, Munich and Bavaria have proved their love more than often. Bavaria has a long winter sports tradition with many international top-class events. Looking back on the past winter season gives an convincing impression of Bavaria's commitment to winter sports: there was the Vierschanzentournee (Four Hills Tournament in ski jumping) in Oberstdorf and Garmisch-Partenkirchen, the Biathlon World Cup in Ruhpolding, the Bob and Skeleton World Championships in Königssee, the World Cup Finals of the International Paralympic Committee for Biathlon & Cross-Country Skiing in Finsterau, the World Single Distances Speed Skating Championships in Inzell and above all the Alpine Ski World Championships in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. At all these events Bavaria proved its organizational talent and provided an enthusiastic atmosphere. And what is more, Munich has already shown that it is able to organise big international events when it hosted the Olympic Summer Games in 1972. Should it be awarded the Winter Games now, it would be the first city in the world that had ever held both Olympic Summer and Winter Games.

Exciting final weeks

The bidding committee will give its best to improve public approval for the games and to solve the last open questions around farmland needed for the Games. Shortly before one of the final presentations in Lausanne it could announce that the most important land deal that had been unsettled so far has now been fixed. And the presentation in Lausanne itself was just great and went down well with many members of the Olympic Committe attending it. The application team will not rest until July, 6. to try and convince the public as well as the International Olympic Committee that there is no better place in the world to stage the XXIII. Olympic Winter Games than Munich. We will cross fingers for them!


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