#10 Munich Forced To Withdraw from 2022 Olympic Bid Race
The City of Munich, host city of the 1972 Summer Olympic Games and failed bid city for the 2018 Winter Games, makes our top ten list this year for not doing something that had been widely expected.
In November, Germany’s Olympic officials (DOSB) announced that they would not be bidding for the 2022 Olympic Winter Games just hours before the International Olympic Committee (IOC) deadline when voters in Munich and Garmisch-Partenkirchen rejected plans to host venues in their jurisdictions.
By referendum on November 10, Munich constituents voted against the proposal, leaving the DOSB no option but to bow out of the race, even though their potential bid was considered a near-lock to host the Games.
Munich came second when PyeongChang, South Korea was elected host city for the 2018 Games by a vote of 63 to 25 (Annecy in France earned 7), mainly due to geographical considerations that aligned with a clever “New Horizons” theme. But Munich’s plains were lauded for being sustainable with an innovative re-engineering of 1972 Summer Games venues for Winter Games purposes – most notably the transformation of the swimming pool to curling sheets. The city had been aiming to be the first to host both Summer and Winter versions of the Olympics.
What makes the story even more compelling is that former German DOSB President Thomas Bach had just recently been elected President of the IOC – a potential boon for the planned bid – and part of Bach’s election platform was to reform the bid process to make it more accessible and increase the number of bidders. Only three cities expressed interest to host the 2018 Games.
With Munich out of the race, six other cities came forward. Among those, Oslo in Norway and Stockholm in Sweden are considered the new leaders.
Watch for top 10 story #9 coming soon on GamesBids.com.
A senior producer and award-winning journalist covering Olympic bid business as founder of GamesBids.com as well as providing freelance support for print and Web publications around the world. Robert Livingstone is a member of the Olympic Journalists Association and the International Society of Olympic Historians.