Olympics 2008 News
IOC team in Munich to inspect 2018 Games bid
Feb 28, 2011, 14:37 GMT
Munich - An International Olympic Committee (IOC) team arrived in Munich Monday to begin a week-long inspection of the city's bid to host the 2018 winter Games.
The IOC evaluation commission will be courted by Chancellor Angela Merkel who will be banging the drum for Munich at a dinner on Thursday evening, but the IOC commission will also be meeting opponents of the bid.
The IOC team has already visited Munich's rival bidders for the 2018 Games, Annecy, France and Pyeongchang, South Korea - where French President Nicolas Sarkozy and South Korean President Lee Myung Bak also lobbied for the French and South Korean respective bids.
Despite some local opposition at the Garmisch-Partenkirchen proposed venue for alpine ski and other snow events, the Munich bid organizers maintain the bid has widespread public support.
'We are ready and we are hot,' said German Olympic sport chief Thomas Bach, who is also an IOC vice-president.
The 11-strong IOC commission, headed by Gunilla Lindberg of Sweden, will now see for themselves when the four days of inspections officially begin Tuesday.
The team will hear the Munich bid outline its overall concept and give details on issues such as the Olympic village, venues, accommodation, transport and environmental factors.
A meeting is also planned by the IOC team Tuesday with opponents of the Games who include some farmers in Garmisch-Partenkirchen who are refusing to give up land for events.
Munich bid officials meanwhile said they would resume talks with a land owner unwilling to give up his property in Garmisch-Partenkirchen needed for the planned downhill finishing area.
Other opponents of the bid want to force the Garmisch-Partenkirchen municipal authority to re-examine the legality of contracts already signed, and have been collecting signatures for a petition to force a referendum on the issue.
The opponents claim the Olympic Games would be too big for Garmisch-Partenkirchen, arguing that although the bid is called Munich 2018 it will be the alpine venue which will bear the main burden of the Games.
Alpine skiing, ski-jumping, snowboarding and ski cross events are planned for Garmisch-Partenkirchen. Biathlon and cross-country skiing would be held at a venue just to the north.
The IOC team will be visiting these venues on Wednesday when it will also examine the planned ice rink centre at Munich's Olympia Park, the Olympic village and proposed medal ceremony site. Some of the delegates will also inspect the bob and luge venue at Koenigsee in Bavaria's Berchtesgadener Land district.
Issues such as finance, marketing, security, visa regulations, medical arrangements, doping and media facilities will also be covered during the stay.
The evaluation reports are scheduled to be released in June and are regarded as technical assessments of each venue to help IOC members who will elect the 2018 host on July 6 in Durban.
Read more about Germany
Read more about Olympics 2018