On your marks: Berlin launches 2024 Olympic campaign | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 03.11.2014
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On your marks: Berlin launches 2024 Olympic campaign

With the slogan, "We want to play," Berlin has kicked off its campaign for the 2024 Olympic Games bid. Dubbed the "Berlympics," the race is on between the capital and Hamburg to represent Germany in the Olympic bid.

Germany's capital launched its campaign on Monday to host either the 2024 or 2028 Summer Olympics. Berlin is pitching against the country's second largest city, Hamburg, in an effort to represent Germany for the Olympic bid.

Marketed as the "Berlympics," the capital has put a huge social media campaign in motion as part of the initiative, which is backed by 30 companies and 70 individuals. With currently over 2,100 sports clubs in Berlin, the city is using the slogan, "Wir wollen spielen" or "We want to play" to pull in supporters.

The campaign has highlighted the economic benefits the games would bring to the capital, making particular reference to the success of the London 2012 Olympic Games, which provided the UK's capital with at least 5,000 new jobs, and restaurants, clubs and theaters with 20 percent more visitors.

"In Berlin it will be even better," the campaign said, adding that "even the corner shops will profit."

Capital face-lift

Hamburg

Rivals: Berlin is up against Germany's second largest city, Hamburg

The campaign also acknowledged that Berlin will need to spruce itself up if it's going to step out onto the world sporting stage. "Berlin needs to make itself chic if the world is visiting us," the campaign said. "No more shilly-shallying around - there must be responsibility. The Berlympics needs a perfect infrastructure. Housing must be built, sports grounds must be in top form and we need an airport too."

The capital's new Berlin-Brandenburg airport has been a thorn in the city's side for some time. First scheduled to open on October 30, 2011, the newly-built building still remains closed.

The Berlin Olympics campaign promises, however, that the "Berlympics" would be "the most colorful and thrilling games of all time," and that after the event is over, everything "will be there for our use."

Berlin campaign photo

Photographer Oliver Rath has created a series of photos showing "normal" Berliners

If successful in their bid, Berlin is also planning to hold the Paralympic games prior to the Olympics in what would be a first for the games.

Sporting Berliners

As part of the city's push to represent Germany in the bid for the 2024 Olympics, Heidelberg-born photographer Oliver Rath has been brought on board to create a series of photos depicting "normal" Berliners in Olympic poses. The images show a firewoman, who appears to be holding the Olympic flame, a waitress, a trash collector and a hurdling businessman, to name a few.

Organizers are also calling on supporters to show how "Berlympic" they are by posting similar photos of themselves in an Olympic pose on the official Facebook page.

Battle of the cities

1936 Berlin Olympics

The last time Berlin held the summer Olympics was under the Nazis in 1936

Just last week, the German Olympics Sports Confederation (DSOB) decided to bid for the games in 2028, as well as for the 2024 event, if the earlier bid should fail.

"We are utterly convinced that this presents a great opportunity for both a city and German sports in general," the DSOB's president, Alfons Hörmann said, adding that "the Olympic project can and will be good for our country."

The DSOB is expected to decide whether Berlin or Hamburg will be the country's candidate on March 21, 2015.

The International Olympic Committee is set to award the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games at a meeting in September 2017.

Berlin last hosted the Summer Olympics in 1936, which Nazi leader Adolf Hitler used as a propaganda spectacle to show the world a successful, reestablished Germany.

ksb/nm (AFP, SID)

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