Referendum set for Munich 2022 Olympic Bid this Sunday
MARISSA FLANDERS / Sports Features Communications
(SFC) The Bavarian capital of Germany has Olympic supporters and opponents of the official bid for the 2022 Winter Olympics, and they are voicing their opinions ahead of Sunday’s referendum Reuters reports.
For the 2018 Olympic bid, Munich, who would have become the first city to host both the Winter, and Summer Games, failed when South Korea’s Pyeongchang won the bid.
After the German Olympic Committee (DOSB) chose to launch another bid in September, both the city of Munich and neighboring Alpine communities decided to hold a referendum.
Double Olympic skiing Champion Markus Wasmeier said to Reuters, “It is not as if the International Olympic Committee says to us ‘we want you’,” as he was in favor of being a part of the Oja! Munich22 (Oh Yes! Munich22). He went on to state, “It is the other way around. We want them and that is a major difference.”
The 1994 Lillehammer Olympics skiing Champion stated, "There are certain rules and we can think about them however we want to but if we want to have the chance to present ourselves through the IOC to three billion people globally there are certain clauses in the contract…Some would say it is an oppressive contract, some say that is how business is done. If we want the Olympics then we have to accept it.”
The opponents of the Munich bid argue contractual commitments, along with construction concerns impact real estate prices, and the environment.
The organization, NOlympia, has opposed the Munich bids. They said that the local people would only be paying the bill, as the IOC ran the Games entirely.
"NOlympia is against the bid because this candidacy is not decided here. Big investors arrive suddenly, influencing the normal development of these areas. There are major interventions in nature and the environment to be expected," stated NOlympia spokesman Axel Doering.
A Former forest ranger commented, "They want unlimited loss guarantees. Coverage of unlimited deficits even if fewer people come, even if there is not enough snow."
The chances of Munich landing the Games seem to be positive, aside from Kazakhstan’s Almaty.
It was reported Beijing and Zhangjiakou; a northern Chinese city will make a joint bid. Lviv, Ukraine has also thrown their hat in the ring. More bids are expected, which may include Poland and Norway.
The referendum can either be a major boost for the Munich bid before the November deadline or result in the bid being lifeless.
Christian Ude, Munich’s Mayor said that the city has a large opportunity with the lack of other Alpine cities bidding.
"Everyone must look at the pros and cons and decide for themselves," Ude expressed. "The city, the state and the federation have come to the conclusion, already from the previous bid, that the pros clearly outweigh the cons."
Ude went on to declare, "This is a unique chances, exactly 50 years after the summer Games of 1972, to become the first city to also host winter Olympics.”
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