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Germany

Bidding for the Olympics

With colored rings and gold in their eyes, the German cities of Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Leipzig and Stuttgart entered applications Wednesday to become Germany's official bid city for the 2012 Summer Games.

Five German cities submitted official proposals in Frankfurt on Wednesday to host the 2012 Summer Olympics. Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Leipzig and Stuttgart are all vying to host the games in what has become one of the world's most fiercely competitive quadrennial campaigns.

"The 2012 Olympic Games are still only a vision, but we need visions, too," German National Olympic Committee (NOK) President Walther Tröger said on Wednesday, as he accepted the bids. According to Mr. Tröger, Germany has one of the "best sports infrastructures in the world, the financing, and the thinkers and abilities," to make it a serious contender to host the 2012 Olympics.

Decision due in 2005

The Frankfurt-based NOK will announce its selection on April 15, 2003. The official bid must then be submitted to the International Olympic Committee, which will consider candidate cities around the world before selecting a final venue for the 2012 Olympics in 2005.

In addition to the five cities competing head-to-head for the honor of official host site, five coastal cities - including Cuxhaven, Lübeck/Travemünde, Rostock/Warnemünde, Rügen/Stralsund and Kiel - are bidding to host the Olympic sailing competitions.

Hefty requirements

The application process represents a significant challenge for bidding cities. The NOK recently issued a 33-page catalogue of requirements for hosting the Olympics, including the ability to provide transportation for 150,000 accredited participants and as many as 500,000 spectators on top days.

Additionally, would-be host cities are required to provide access to a minimum of 42,000 hotel rooms within 50 kilometers of the city center. The NOK will also consider whether a venue has developed feasible financing for the games and what kind of environmental impact the Olympics would have on the surrounding community.

Seeking a fresh image

It’s been 30 years since Germany last hosted the Olympics. Unfortunately, that ill-fated event continues to plague the country's Olympic history. In one of the darkest Olympic moments ever, Palestinian terrorists held members of the Israeli team hostage in the Olympic Village in Munich in 1972. Two teammates were killed by gunmen, and nine others died during an ill-fated rescue attempt.

Germany has long sought to refurbish its Olympic image, but the country lost its most recent bid to host the 2000 Summer Games in Berlin. Nonetheless, NOK’s Mr. Tröger says he is not discouraged. "It’s our turn again," he says.

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