(ATR) Prime Minister Armin Laschet has promoted the organization of the 2032 Olympic Games in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) to German IOC President Thomas Bach.
Germany has not hosted an Olympics since Munich 1972 (Wikimedia Commons)
"It was a good, open and important exchange of ideas," Laschet said after the meeting with Bach at the IOC headquarters in Lausanne. Michael Mronz, founder of the Rhein Ruhr City 2032 initiative, and Veronika Rücker, chairwoman of the German Olympic Sports Federation (DOSB), also took part in the meeting.
Laschet stressed that the concept of the 14 NRW cities already included 90 percent of the sports facilities, which would continue to be used intensively even after such an event.
"Hundreds of thousands of people already visit and use these venues every week in our sports-enthusiastic state. This would also be guaranteed after the games. We can continue to live the sustainability that the IOC has formulated as a goal for the future in its Agenda 2020," said Laschet.
Laschet also emphasized the enthusiasm of the 10 million people in the metropolitan region and "the economic power of 11 DAX companies, 13 MDAX companies and a strong middle class". (DAX is the stock index representing 30 of the largest and most liquid German companies that trade on the Frankfurt Exchange. The MDAX stock index includes 60 non-technology sector companies.)
Mronz had already presented a planning paper for the organization of the Olympic Games in NRW in April last year.
After a string of unsuccessful bid attempts, the DOSB has so far kept a low profile on hosting in 2032. The NOC says it will decide in 2020 whether to venture back into the Olympic race.
The last Olympic Games in Germany took place in Munich in 1972. Hamburg's bid for 2024, which had initially prevailed in the national decision against Berlin, was scuttled by a referendum in 2015.
So far, only Indonesia and India have officially given notice to the IOC of a planned bid for the 2032 Games.
Representatives from North and South Korea met with Bach in Lausanne last month, presenting plans to begin considering a joint bid. Australia and Russia have also publicly stated interest in 2032.
Bach urged Argentina to bid for 2032 when he was in Buenos Aires for the Youth Olympic Games in October but the country has so far given no indication of serious interest.
A decision on the 2032 Games host is not expected to be made until 2025.
Written by Heinz Peter Kreuzer
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