“The Positive Prospect of the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Germany Is Needed More Than Ever”

Frankfurt, 8 September 2023 – The sixth expert talk of the “YOUR IDEAS. YOUR GAMES.” dialog initiative took place not too long ago. Social sustainability in sports was the issue of the day.

The experts all acknowledged that sports were driving forces of integration, inclusion, and positive change in society. The Olympic and Paralympic Games provide opportunities to further advance those areas, for example, by offering more sports options for people both with and without disabilities. Ensuring that everyone had access to sports and major sporting events, for example, via fair ticket prices, was also found to be equally important. However, each of the participants also felt that it was necessary to emphasize the danger of overburdening the world of sports and allocating too much responsibility to it. While sports can deliver excellent solutions and impetus in the face of social crises, they cannot solve them without support from other areas of society.

Anke Feller im Gespräch mit Friedhelm Julius Beucher und Christina Marx.

The guests had plenty to say on the subject:

Verena Bentele – Vice President, DOSB, Paralympics Champion, and President of VdK

“Sports connect and create shared moments of success and community between people with and without disabilities.”

“We have to find ways to get people more involved and to make it easier for them to access sports activities.”

“In times like these, the positive prospect of the Olympic and Paralympic Games being hosted in Germany is needed more than ever to strengthen cohesion within society.”

Friedhelm Julius Beucher – President of the German Disabled Sports Association and National Paralympic Committee

“We have some catching up to do when it comes to communicating the inherent value of sports. Major events, such as the Olympic and Paralympic Games, are essential if we hope to successfully reintegrate sports into German society.”

“I fully support the idea of bringing the Games back to Germany. I think they will bring about lasting change within our society.”

“However, I do not believe that it would serve us well to concurrently host the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Both events are unique in their own right, and I would be concerned that the Paralympics would fail to receive the same level of attention that we have garnered over the years.”

Thomas Hitzlsperger – former national football player, Ambassador of the “Soccer for Diversity, Soccer against Homophobia” initiative

“Sports have an extraordinary integrative power.”

“The top associations are often saddled with a bad reputation. Therefore, it is our job to show people the positive sides of major sporting events and to show them that hosting the Olympics in Germany can create added value for society as a whole in the short, medium, and long term.”

“If we all band together to fight discrimination and exclusion in our everyday lives, we can showcase the significant amount of progress that we have made in such areas during the (prospective) Olympic and Paralympic Games.”

Christina Marx – Head of Education & Communications, Aktion Mensch

“Sports are key factors in any discussion about inclusion, because inclusion and integration are practiced on a daily basis in the sporting world. Sports far outpace other areas in that regard, such as in educational institutions or in the workplace.”

“Sports are enablers. However, they cannot solve societal crises on their own. We should make every effort to avoid overburdening that particular field.”

“A bid for the Olympic and Paralympic Games has to be both vibrant and diverse.”

Additional information can be found on the initiative’s website and social media platforms: www.deine-spiele.de