Monday, March 04, 2013
Swiss exit good for possible Munich 2022 bid - DOSB
BERLIN (Reuters) - Munich's chances of landing the 2022 winter Olympics should the Bavarian capital bid again have improved with the rejection of a Swiss bid, the German's Olympic Committee (DOSB) said on Monday.
Munich was squarely beaten by South Korea's Pyeongchang for the 2018 winter Olympics and has yet to decide whether to run again.
But with Russia's Sochi hosting the 2014 winter Games, Munich could have a good shot at bringing the Games back to Alpine Europe, where winter sports enjoy a great following, for the first time since Turin in 2006.
A planned Swiss candidacy of Davos and St Moritz was rejected by local citizens in a referendum on Sunday.
There has been no official bid from any country yet while Ukraine has said they could join forces with Poland and Slovakia for a joint bid. The United States, who last hosted a winter Games in Salt Lake City in 2002, will not be bidding.
"The competition for the winter Games 2022 has eased considerably (with the Swiss exit)," said DOSB General Director Michael Vesper in reaction to the referendum in the canton of Graubuenden.
"This will be positively considered by the DOSB when taking a decision. This decision shows how important the involvement of citizens is."
Munich's bid for 2018 was hampered by local opposition in Garmisch-Partenkirchen where the skiing events would be held. The Green party also officially opposed Munich's 2018 bid over environmental concerns, dealing it a major political blow.
"That is why the DOSB has made this (citizens' involvement) a condition for any potential new bid."
Vesper said a final decision would be taken after general elections in Germany in September and an International Olympic Committee vote for the 2020 summer Games host city in the same month.
"If there is a decision after that for Munich to bid again then there will be a referendum on November 10," he said. "Until then all questions that may interest citizens can be answered."
The IOC will elect the host in two years time.
(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann, editing by Justin Palmer)