POSTED: May 6th 2011

Munich 2018 bid team braces itself for Sunday's Games referendum verdict

Sunday answers for both sides / lake images
Sunday answers for both sides / lake images

LAURA WALDEN / Sports Features Communications

TAMPA, May 06: The Munich 2018 bid will be put to the test with a referendum vote in Garmisch-Partenkirchen when the 21,000 local residents will vote if they want the Games or not.

The anti-Games group sustains that holding the Olympics will create environmental issues, financial implications, and overrun the Alpine skiing area.

However the first ever winter Games in '36 were held in Garmisch successfully.

Garmisch-Partenkirchen is the area for the alpine skiing events and since the bid campaign got started there has been a debate on a piece of land to be used to the Games. Ironically the same piece of land is utilized for the World Cup skiing competitions and there is much consent for this event whereas the Olympics seem to be a point of contention.

Peter Fischer is the man in the local area pushing the pro-Games movement and is behind the successful World Cup event. He feels like they can gain a clear majority between 60-70 per cent of the votes.

Axel Doering who is behind the NOlympia opposition to the Games says in the German press that they are just pushing for 52 per cent of the votes.

Either way the Munich 2018 bid will go forward, however if the outcome is negative it could resonate with the IOC members and reflect a lack of commitment on the part of the local population. The Garmisch-Partenkirchen area has about 27,000 citizens all in all and around 21,000 can vote.

Polls will open in the city at 9am on Sunday and are set to close at 6pm. The final announcement will come within hours of the polls closing.

Of the three cities in the running for 2018 Annecy is the only other one that has experienced a movement of citizens against the bid. The Annecy group came out quietly in the hundreds during the IOC Evaluation visit to wave signs

PyeongChang ironically had a positive protestor who delivered a “protest for the Games” to the IOC during the Evaluation visit with one million names on the list. This makes the third bid for PyeongChang and the citizens are very passionate about wanting the Games.

Munich only had about under 40 people that turned up during the IOC Evaluation visit to talk about the Games in the main piazza the Marionplatz. Then another handful appeared when the commission visited the Garmisch-Partenkirchen area.

By bringing the Games to the little alpine area definitely there will be some challenges for local citizens but overall there would be an economic impetus to holding the event. Not to mention international notoriety.

So Sunday will show if there is really just a handful of people against the Games or truly a larger number of the population. The Olympic Games have long been a center stage that has been used by a number of different kinds of political and non-political groups exclusively looking to gain a spotlight for their messages.

Keywords · Munich 2018 · IOC · Olympic bidding · Garmisch-Partenkirchen · skiing

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