(ATR) The Rhine-Ruhr region of Germany is now under consideration for a bid for the 2032 Summer Olympics.
Berlin is out of the conversation after a survey revealed that support for a bid from the region in western Germany was encouraging.
Dusseldorf is the largest city in the Rhine-Ruhr region. (Wiki)
The survey commissioned by the German Olympic Sports Confederation drew "a pleasingly positive picture of the mood in Rhine-Ruhr and in each of the participating municipalities", said DOSB President Alfons Hörmann in an interview with the German Press Agency.
Thus, North Rhine-Westphalia with this initiative "clearly offers a better starting position than Berlin at present,” said Hörmann.
"On the one hand, we have systematically analyzed the legacy of our various bids over the past two decades," explained Hörmann.
Most recently, Munich had failed in its bid for the 2018 and 2022 Winter Games, and Hamburg for the Summer Games in 2024.
"To be fair, you must of course emphasize that Rhine-Ruhr has already had a two- to three-year trial behind it, which Berlin did not have," said the DOSB chief.
Hörmann notes that under the new way that the IOC selects Olympic hosts, the 2032 Summer Games could be awarded as early as 2022.
DOSB President Alfons Hörmann (DOSB)
"Thus, according to human judgement and logical consideration, the time available for Berlin to bid in 2032 is no longer sufficient,” Hörmann said.
According to Hörmann's ideas, the DOSB presidium should clearly position itself in the second quarter of 2020 as to what a bid timetable might look like.
The official decision on an Olympic candidacy can only be made by a general meeting of the DOSB. The next one will take place on Dec. 5 in Munich.
"We are pleased that our concept of ecologically and economically sustainable games on the Rhine and Ruhr convinces the DOSB," said Michael Mronz, the founder of the Rhine-Ruhr
He added that the initiative would be holding over 200 citizen dialogue events in the metropolitan region this year.
"The next step is to do the necessary homework nationally and then possibly internationally," explained Mronz.
"Berlin would like to host Olympic Games, but for 2032 it will be too tight for us because of the IOC's changed awarding procedure,” acknowledges Friedhard Teuffel, director of the Berlin State Sports Association..
It was important not to take a rush job, but to bring a sustainable bid to the market. "It must be an application that comes from and is supported by society. It must not just be a marketing campaign," said Teuffel.
Should there be a German bid for 2036, Berlin would be back in the race said Teuffel. But Federal Interior Minister Horst Seehofer does not want to have an Olympic Games in Germany 100 years after the Nazi Games.
"I think 2036 is a good date because it is a great opportunity to show how Germany has changed," Teuffel counters..
The Senate Administration in Berlin also sees it that way.
"Olympic Games 2036 in Berlin would be an important sign 100 years after the horrible abuse of the Olympic idea by the National Socialists. To present another, a peaceful, free, and democratic Germany 100 years later would be a message of international understanding and peace," a spokesman for the sports administration is quoted in a press report.
So far the field of potential contenders for 2032 include Queensland in Australia, Jakarta, India, China and a unified bid from South and North Korea.
The IOC has yet to establish a timetable for considering 2032 bids. In the past the IOC would choose a 2032 city seven years ahead. The 2030 Winter Olympics are next on the agenda to be selected by the IOC, perhaps within the next year given the new process the IOC is following.
The consultative process is meant to replace the expensive head-to-head international campaigns of past bids. The IOC is also aiming to avoid the collapse of bids, particularly winter bids, due to the lack of public support.
Reported by Peter Kreuzer in Germany.
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