Winter Olympics 2018: Munich sends bid books to Olympic committee
January 14, 2011
Munich organisers has sent the official bid books for the 2018 Winter Olympics to the International Olympic Committee with the firm belief that they will land the games. Thomas Bach, a German vice president of the IOC and president of the national Olympic body, praised the bid and its chances.
“We are now entering the really important stage,” Bach said Monday during a ceremony. “We have an excellent bid, a bid by athletes for athletes. We really have an excellent chance of winning.”
Munich is competing for the 2018 games with Annecy, France and Pyeongchang, South Korea. The IOC will select the host city on July 6 in Durban, South Africa. The official bid books were flown later Monday from Munich to Lausanne, the Swiss headquarters of the IOC, and will be officially delivered on Tuesday. After presenting the 396-page bid books, Munich will have to convince an evaluation commission of its plans when an IOC team visits the Bavarian capital at the end of February and in early March. Munich’s bid has been bolstered by last week’s deal with landowners in Garmisch-Partenkirchen to turn over their land during winter sports months for the next two decades.
The deal removes a hurdle for the Alpine skiing world championships next month in Garmisch as land was needed to complete the downhill finish area. Although the agreement excludes the Olympics, Munich officials say it has made a prospective deal of their own with landholders more likely.
“We are still not there but we are convinced we will find a solution,” said Siegfried Schneider, chief of staff of the Bavarian chancellery who has been leading the talks with the owners. The dispute has threatened to derail the Olympic project, but Schneider predicts a speedy resolution. “We are seeking to close the deal this or next week,” he said.
A group of 59 Bavarian farmers and landowners from Garmisch-Partenkirchen has so far refused to turn over land for the Olympics. Garmisch, a 90-minute train ride from Munich, is crucial to the bid because it is the venue for Alpine skiing, one of the glamour events of winter games. Munich bid officials have been downplaying the feud, however, and IOC President Jacques Rogge told the Munich newspaper Sueddeutsche that it won’t endanger the city’s candidacy.