Today: Last Update:

  • On the Scene - Munich 2018 Goes First at IOC Briefing


    "We are looking now with real confidence to Durban," says Munich CEO Bernhard Schwank. (ATR)
    (ATR) Munich bid CEO Bernhard Schwank tells Around the Rings he felt IOC members could "feel the team spirit and passion for the Games" following the German presentation at the 2018 bid cities briefing in Lausanne today.
    Munich went first in the series of briefings being conducted Wednesday at the Olympic Museum in Lausanne with about 90 IOC members in attendance.

    Munich, Annecy and PyeongChang each had 45 minutes to present their bids to the members and up to 45 minutes for questions from IOC members.

    The Munich team fielded eight questions says CEO Berhnard Schwank

    "We did our best today. It went really well. We were a team. I think we were able to present the real strengths and message of the Munich bid and why Munich," he told ATR.

    "The IOC is facing different challenges at the moment. It's time now to meet these challenges concerning environmental sustainability and reaching young people. We think can cover these with the Munich bid."

    He said Munich had satisfactorily answered the questions that covered everything from the environment and climate issues to venues, landowner issues and opposition in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, venue for the Alpine sports.

    "We are looking now with real confidence to Durban [for the July 6 IOC vote]," he added.

    IOC members reacted positively to Munich's presentation.

    Dick Pound, IOC member from Canada, told Around the Rings: "It is a very good bid, well organized and conceived. I think they have a good case."

    Pound noted that PyeongChang came "within a hair's breadth" of winning the 2010 and 2014 Olympics.

    He praised bid chairman Katarina Witt, saying Munich had "a very fine team".

    "If Munich were to win you would not have any worries about the Games and whether they can deliver," he added.
    IOC member from Guatemala, Willy Kaltschmitt, told ATR that Munich had delivered a "very good presentation".
    "I think all the bids
    "I think they have a good case," says IOC member Richard Pound. (ATR)
    are serious bids," he said.

    He said Katarina Witt, the double Olympic champion figure skater who heads the German bid, put in an impressive performance.

    "She is an excellent leader. She knows the Games very well," he added.

    Toni Khoury, IOC member from Lebanon, told ATR that the Munich bid benefited from a lot of experience thanks to Witt and IOC vice president Thomas Bach.

    "Germany all the time has the possibility of hosting an Olympic Games. It has stability, the financing and everything..." he said.

    Noting that PyeongChang was strong with a third bid for the Winter Games, he added: "My opinion is that Annecy has
    Munich Mayor Christian Ude says it's "a fair question" to ask about the tragedy at Munich 1972. (ATR)
    the best location.

    "But we wait for the other presentations to see what they can give the Olympic Movement."

    U.S. member Anita DeFrantz raised the question about how the 1972 terrorist attack might bear on the bid for 2018.
    Mayor Christian Ude, who responded for the bid, tells ATR the question was not a surprise.

    “The people of Munich will never forget this act of terrorism. But it could have happened anywhere. This is accepted by everyone. It is a fair question, and we have discussed how it might affect the bid. It is ok to ask this question,” Ude said.

    The six-member Munich delegation was led by bid chair Katarina Witt and included Thomas Bach, President of the German Olympic Sports Confederation; Hans-Peter Friedrich, German Minister of the Interior; Munich mayor Christian Ude; IOC member Claudia Bokel; biathlon Olympian Magdalena Neuner; Ian Robertson, BMW Group’s sales and marketing chief and Bernhard Schwank. Also joining Munich 2018 on the dais was Walther Troeger, now retired from the IOC as an honorary member.
    On Thursday the bid cities will have the chance to meet one-on-one with IOC members at designated exhibit space at the Lausanne Palace Hotel. 

    Written and reported in Lausanne by Mark Bisson and Ed Hula.

    For general comments or questions, click here.

    Your best source of news about the Olympics is, for subscribers only.