POSTED: March 4th 2011

New Minister up but not running in support of Munich's Winter Games bid

New to the 2018 race: Hans-Peter Friedrich / lake images
New to the 2018 race: Hans-Peter Friedrich / lake images

The Olympic Stadium: proposed for the Opening and Closing ceremonies, just as with the summer Games in 1972 / lake images
The Olympic Stadium: proposed for the Opening and Closing ceremonies, just as with the summer Games in 1972 / lake images

KEIR RADNEDGE in Munich / Sports Features Communications

MUNICH, Mar 04: The trouble with being parachuted in as Interior Minister - which includes the sports brief - Hans-Peter Friedrich told Thomas Bach, is that suddenly there is no time for . . . sport. Not, at any rate, on a personal level.

Friedrich was reviewing an intense first 24 hours in his new role in Munich today after undertaking an initial official duty the previous evening at a formal dinner with the IOC evaluation commission attended by German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

He has no doubt about the city’s capacity to host the 2018 Winter Games and left the commission – which has already visited rivals Annecy and PyeongChang – in no doubt in his formal morning presentation about the German’s government’s committed support.

The complex pressures of heading up a major ministry are such that, in addition to talking up Munich 2018, he has taken over responsibility for the investigation into the murder of two American soldiers in Frankfurt earlier this week.

On an Olympic front, Friedrich said: “I made clear that all levels of government are aware of their duties and guarantees and are united in support of this bid.

Laws and regulations

“Germany has already successfully mounted a large number of major events so I don’t have any doubt that Munich is capable of hosting the 2018 Winter Games in the same execellent way.

“All the necessary laws and regulations are already in place, protection of trademarks is guaranteed and we are signed up and fully support the World Anti-Doping Agency Code. We offer reliable partnership, stable economic conditions and the best possible security.”

Conversation during the official dinner also persuaded Friedrich that the commission had understood “the professional and passion” underlying Munich's bid. He said: “These would be Games by athletes for athletes and we had it confirmed in feedback that this message got across.”

The only drawback, as Friedrich told IOC vice-president and German Olympic sports leader Thomas Bach, is that he has had to interrupt his training to run in the Hamburg marathon.

He said: “I told Mr Bach that the downside of being the Minister of Sport is that my training has had to be put aside. I am registered for Hamburg and that’s now endangered but we will see. I’m not a born athlete but I am full of passion for sport.”

Marathon running appears to be a qualification for the job. French Sports Minister Chantal Jouanno is aiming to run in the Paris event . . .

Keywords · Munich 2018 · Friedrich · Winter Olympics · IOC · evaluation commission

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