The city of Hamburg formally submitted its bid to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Wednesday. The letter to the IOC was signed by German Olympics sports organization DOSB president Alfons Hoermann and Hamburg mayor Olaf Scholz.
Scholz said, “this is a German candidature. We in Hamburg are carrying the torch but it is a festival for the whole of Germany”. He said the city can handle both the Olympics and the influx of refugees to the region, and the migrants’ arrival in Germany is a sign of Germany’s welcoming reputation.
Hoermann added,, “we are inviting the international sport family to get to know our clearly colourful and increasingly diverse country”.
Scholz added in a statement “I am delighted that Hamburg, on behalf of Germany, is throwing its hat into the ring as a candidate city for the Olympic Games 2024. We want to build a sporting stage for an open society and demonstrate that transparent, compact, modern Olympic Games are possible in our city.”
“We in Hamburg see ourselves as the gateway to the world, and we would consider it an honour to be the gateway for the world. The significance of the Olympic idea extends far beyond sport itself: it is all about international partnership.”
The bid still faces a referendum among Hamburg resident on November 29. At the same time residents of Kiel will be voting in a referendum on holding the Olympic sailing events.
Scholz said he was confident there would be “a large majority” in favour of the Olympics.
Germany last hosted the Summer Games in Munich in 1972 that has been sadly remembered for the tragic loss of Israeli athletes at the hands of terrorists.
Hoermann said of Munich “the world got to know a new Germany – one that was democratic, liberal, cosmopolitan and modern – before the awful terrorist attack on Israeli athletes shook us all to the core.”
“And yet, to this day, Munich is still one of the best examples of how the Olympic and Paralympic Games can redound to the long-term benefit of the host city’s citizens.”
The Summer Games were also hosted in Berlin in 1936. Germany last bid for the Summer Olympic Games when Leipzig failed to qualify for the 2012 shortlist. Munich came second to PyeongChang in that city’s bid to host the 2018 Winter Games.
The IOC will decide on a host city for the 2024 Summer Games in September 2017. The deadline for formal submission of bid entries is September 15.
Los Angeles, Paris, Rome and Budapest have also declared their intentions to bid. Toronto is still considering the possibility, and other cities still have the a few days to signal their interest. The IOC will elect a winner in 2017.