News

Munich presents Festival of Friendship

6 July 2011

Munich has delivered its final presentation in Durban, South Africa, to members of the International Olympic Committee who will vote later tonight (AEST) to choose the host for the 2018 Winter Olympic Games.

German IOC Member Thomas Bach spoke first in favour of his country. He promised a special “athlete experience” if Munich was to win the right to host in 2018.

Munich “is a sport driven bid” he said.

Germany last hosted the Summer Olympics in 1972. They want to recapture the Olympic magic of that time and host the Winter Games with a “festival of friendship”.

Germany has the passion to create a true festival of friendship. “That is our vision,” he said.

The park and the venues of 1972 are still operating today. Organisers have promised to renew the park for 2018. “There is not one single white elephant,” the Mayor of Munich told the IOC members.

The Germans had everything in their presentation. Even a man, Willy Rohnm, in the back row gave a traditional yodel to represent the millions of passionate and educated winter sports fans. It was all about fun and friendship.

The Mayor waved the mallet used to tap the first keg of beer at Oktoberfest every year.

“I hope we can all have a beer later tonight,” he said.

Katarina Witt, dual Olympic gold medallist spearheaded the Munich presentation. Munich said the entire nation is behind the bid. “There is overwhelming support”.

They spoke of their determination and the German skill of building the best facilities and infrastructure possible.

Soccer legend, Franz Beckenbaur, also addressed the IOC. He too is competing for his hometown of Munich. “We know how to organise a tournament and we know how to make friends,” he said referring to the success of the World Cup in 2006.

“I would like to invite you to the Winter dream in 2018.” He said he would train as a volunteer just to be part of it.

Next up to present is Annecy at 1830 AEST. The vote of the 102 IOC members will take place at 1130 pm to determine the winning bid.

The presentations can be watched live on www.olympic.org

Mike Tancred
AOC - Durban