Frankfurt, 5 November 2023 – Approximately 500 guests attended the DOSB’s third Dialog Forum on Sunday, which took place at the Small Olympic Hall inside Munich’s Olympic Park. The citizens of Munich, as well as the invited guests, signaled their support for a renewed bid for the Olympic and Paralympic Games, with Munich as a possible venue, during the various rounds of dialog.
A Citizen-Driven Bid
Dieter Reiter, the Mayor of the City of Munich, and Joachim Herrmann, the Bavarian State Minister of the Interior, delivered the official welcome. Both of them also took part in the panel discussion that followed. Dieter Reiter emphasized: “A renewed bid submitted by the City of Munich can only succeed if it is developed in coordination with the public.” Joachim Herrmann added: “We have to put forward a bid that reflects what we want the Olympics to look like. We need a bid that suits us.”
During the panel discussion, which was moderated by “Sportstudio” presenter Katrin Müller-Hohenstein, representatives from the worlds of sports, media, and politics talked about the added value of an Olympic bid. Verena Bentele, Paralympics winner and DOSB Vice President, stressed the importance of ensuring that the public, athletes, and politicians were in favor of a bid – only then would they be willing to submit one. Steffen Haman, a former professional basketball player, and Kilian Kappelmeier, a young judoka, confirmed, from an athlete’s point of view, that the Olympic Games were every athlete’s greatest goal and accordingly spoke out in favor of a renewed bid. Markus Harm, a ZDF sports journalist, took a more critical view despite all the euphoria that has been felt in Munich since the European Championship: The European Championships were successful primarily due to the fact that sports were presented in an approachable and authentic way. The Olympic Games do not allow for such a strategy. The question of whether the Summer or Winter Games should be held was also part of the discussion. While the Mayor of Munich was clearly in favor of hosting the Summer Games, Joachim Herrmann kept his position open, stating that Bavaria would be available for both.
The Euphoria of the European Championships Resonates
The official program also featured presentations by Stefan Klos (Proprojekt) and Stephan Brause (DOSB). Stefan Klos [UT1] presented the IOC’s reform processes and the resulting opportunities to design and stage the Olympic and Paralympic Games in a more sustainable and cost-effective way. Stephan Brause (DOSB) walked everyone through the DOSB’s new strategy and presented the conditions that would be attached to a prospective new bid.
From 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM and from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM, the residents of Munich had the opportunity to take part in moderated discussion rounds, during which they could share their specific ideas, criticisms, and reservations. One of the requests: If the Olympic and Paralympic Games are to return to Munich, the existing infrastructure should be used and no new sports facilities should be built. Many residents of Munich also raved about the 2022 European Championships: The organizers succeeded in creating points of contact for the event throughout the city, thereby inspiring people beyond the realm of sports. That particular goal should also be pursued in the case of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Marion Schöne, Managing Director of Olympiapark München GbmH, summarized the event in her closing statement: “There were entire families here today – all working together on the notion of hosting the Olympics in Germany. I firmly believe that the Games could be just as transformative as they were in 1972 – developed across all parties and generations, with a view to the added value for Germany as a whole.” Jörg Ammon, President of the Bavarian State Sports Association, also agreed: “I find the fact that multiple generations have taken the time to speak with us about the Olympics today quite impressive. Let’s work toward mutual success and move our country forward in terms of sports policy.” Stephan Brause summarized the day with the following words: “Munich has proven its readiness for the Olympics today.”
Two Additional Dialog Forums to Take Place by Mid-November
Two additional events have been scheduled: Berlin (12/11) and Düsseldorf (13/11). The results of the various dialog formats will be bundled in the Frankfurt Declaration and will serve as the societal guidelines for a prospective Olympic bid. The Frankfurt Declaration will be presented at the DOSB General Assembly on 2 December 2023.
Photos of the event and an impressions video will soon be available for viewing here.