Munich scores points in bid to host 2018 Winter Games

Acapulco: Munich`s bid to host the 2018 Olympics received a boost in Acapulco Thursday when their presentation to the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) assembly was considered the best.

Some 205 national Olympic Committees have gathered in the Mexican town for the meeting and amongst the topics covered are updates from Olympic organising committees, the 2018 bidding cities and from the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

German IOC vice president Thomas Bach said it was a good start for the German bid. `We are in a good position with a clear vision and a clear message. But it is a marathon and we need to fight until we reach the finish line.`

Munich bid ambassador Katarina Witt showed the meeting, amongst them some 40 IOC members, a video of filled stadiums watching winter sports like the Four Hills ski-jumping competition, biathlon in Ruhpolding and the opening game of the ice hockey world championship in front of 77,000 fans.

`The stadiums are full, the people are glued to television. That is what the athletes will encounter in Munich,` the two-time Olympic champion said about the bid which is focusing on the enthusiasm of the public in a traditional winter sport country.

South Korea`s Pyeongchang, on the other hand, is trying to sell the concept that Asia is an untapped market for winter sport which the IOC should enter.

`Some 60 per cent of the world population live in Asia and that opens new markets,` the head of the Pyeongchang bid Yangho Cho said.

The South Korean town has twice before unsuccessfully bid for the Winter Olympics, but has changed its approach this time around.

Unlike 2010 and 2014 when they pushed a political message and the use of sport to bring about peace with neighbouring North Korea and how a unified team would compete.

One of their selling points this time around is the fact that 91 per cent of the population is supporting their bid.

The Munich bid has support from the highest circles and Chancellor Angela Merkel promised in a video message played at the meeting that the bid had the `full support and assistance from the German government and the German people.`

The French town of Annecy, which is considered an outsider in the running, did not put forward a very strong presentation and was missing alpine skiing legend Jean-Claude Killy.

Although the bid is given very few chances of getting the go-ahead to host the Games, they could play an important spoiler-role if they manage to take enough votes away from the Munich bid to give Pyeongchang victory in the first round of voting.


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