Munich `ideal for Winter Olympics`, says bid chief

Munich: Munich deserves to win the right to host the 2018 Winter Olympics because it provides a great stage for the main players in the drama -- the athletes, according to bid chief executive Bernhard Schwank.

Schwank -- who replaced Willy Bogner as CEO last September after the latter stepped down for health reasons -- said that the Munich bid provided a stage fit for the athletes.

Munich is bidding to become the first venue to host both the Summer and Winter Games and is up against Korean candidate Pyeongchang -- who have finished runners-up on the last two occasions -- and the French alpine town of Annecy.

Schwank expressed hope that the electorate of 100+ International Olympic Committee (IOC) members would decide in the vote here on July 6 that Munich had ticked the right boxes.

"The question on July 6 is what is the best solution for the athletes in 2018? bearing in mind all the challenges we have spoken about before," he said.

"Well the concept we have is a sports driven bid. We enjoy great support from our athletes, the sporting community and the corporate one.

"We have great experience in hosting winter sports events like the last alpine world championships with these knowledgeable fans.

"For a Winter Games you have to have the best stage for the athletes."

Schwank, who has promised the first ever carbon neutral Games, said that he did not regard it as a two-horse race - Annecy has been largely dismissed for a while though they disagree strongly about that.

"We are three bidders till July 6," he said.

"Don`t ever underestimate any competitor. It`s like sport, you do not give up until the last second and you certainly don`t count anyone out," said Schwank, who said he contracted "Olympic fever" as a boy when watching the 1972 Olympics in Munich on TV.

Munich`s long-serving Lord Mayor Christian Ude said that to win the vote would be memorable for several reasons.

"We would be a little proud to be the first city in the world to host both Games," said the 63-year-old, who was first elected to the post in 1993.

"Also it would enable us to renew the Olympic Park and for the Olympic Movement it would ensure sustainability.

"We can guarantee full stadiums and crowd support," said Ude, adding that fans would be guaranteed a good time.

"We really know how to throw a party... ask the six million people who come to the Oktoberfest each year!

"We can guarantee an unforgettable three weeks in 2018."

Bureau Report

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