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Germany

Munich Launches Bid for 2018 Olympics

Munich aims to erase some recent German disasters by hosting the 2018 Winter Olympics, 46 years after the city also staged the Summer Games.

olympic rings

Munich hopes to bring the rings back to Germany in 2018 for the first time in 46 years

"The whole of Germany is looking forward to the 2018 Winter Games in Munich," said German Interior Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble when the official bid committee was inaugurated on this week in the city's town hall.

"It has been quite a while since we successfully bid for the Olympic Games. We will do everything to succeed," he said.

The 1972 Summer Games in Munich were the last Olympics in the country -- with Berlin and Garmisch-Partenkirchen hosting the summer and winter editions, respectively, in 1936.

Berchtesgaden flopped for the 1992 Winter Games, while Berlin and Leipzig came nowhere close to International Olympic Committee confidence in their bids for the 2000 and 2012 Summer Games.

"Munich plus two"

Garmisch is in the frame again as part of Munich's bid, set to stage the snow events. Sliding competition is to take place on the existing track in Koeniggssee while all other ice events are set for the host city of Munich.

Olympic flag at half mast in Munich, 1972

The last German Olympic Games were in Munich in 1972 -- and marked by tragedy

The campaign is suitably named "Munich plus two" as other famous Bavarian wintersport venues such as Inzell (speed-skating) and Ruhpolding (biathlon) were dropped in favor of a bid as compact as possible.

Munich mayor Christian Ude did not hide the city's determination to make history as the first host of Summer and Winter Games -- preferably with the first attempt like in 1972.

"Munich has a tradition to get the nod on the first attempt. It is a fantastic perspective for Munich's future to become the first city in the world to stage the Wwinter Games after the Summer Games," said Ude.

German Olympic supremo Thomas Bach said there was no plan B should Munich fail in the 2011 IOC vote.

Wilfried Spronk, the experienced former head of Munich's Olympiapark (the main area of the 1972 Games) company, has been hired as managing director.

Spronk's first task is to raise the 30 million euros ($47.8 million) Munich needs for the bid procedure. The money is to come from sponsors and not tax payers.

Geography to play a role

While Munich fits the seemingly preferred IOC requirement for a Winter Games host, a relatively large city close to mountains, its fate could also depend on the next Olympic elections for 2016.

2014 Winter Olympics logo

The Winter Olympics in 2014 will take place in Sochi, Russia

With the 2012 Summer Games and 2014 Winter Olympics in London and Sochi, respectively, Munich's chances may look grim if the 2016 summer edition is awarded to Europe again. Madrid is bidding against Chicago, Tokyo and Rio de Janeiro.

In addition, Munich will face big rivals on its own. The narrow 2010 and 2014 loser Pyeongchang of South Korea is expected to make another bid, along with Tromso (Norway), Grenoble (France), Geneva (Switzerland) and a possible US candidate.

However, the IOC vice-president Bach urged Munich not to look at the other bidders, but at its own strength instead.

"The message of the 2018 bid is combining a great winter sports tradition with culture, innovative technology and a legacy," Bach said.

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