Munich snub highlights need for bid process review

Wed Nov 13, 2013 5:37am EST
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By Karolos Grohmann

BERLIN (Reuters) - Munich's spectacular 2022 Olympics snub with citizens voting against a candidacy for the world's biggest winter sports event last week highlighted the need to review the process of bidding for the Games.

Munich looked to have good chances with only Kazakhstan's Almaty and Ukraine's Lviv having officially announced their intentions until that point on Sunday.

Yet the majority of citizens of all four communities, including the city of Munich, rejected the plan for a bid after the failed attempt to land the 2018 Games two years ago.

As jaws dropped in the star-studded and confident pro-Olympic camp following the announcement of results, the main explanation for what had just occurred was that the Germans were critical of major sports events and apprehensive of their benefits.

"I think it was not a problem with a concept but rather a growing criticism of parts of the population with mega sports events," Munich mayor Christian Ude said.

Franz Beckenbauer, one of the big names brought in to drum up support for a renewed Olympic candidacy, called the result "stupid" and a "missed opportunity". Olympic skiing champion Maria Hoefl-Riesch, another supporter, said voting against the bid had been "narrow-minded".

The Munich snub came just days before Atlanta, host of the 1996 Olympics, announced the demolition of the Games stadium to make way for middle class homes, while Germany continued to debate the merit of hosting the Games'.

BRAZIL PROTESTS   Continued...