Germany’s emerging plan to bid for the 2036 Olympic Games has been ruled out by Interior Minister Horst Seehofer who has the responsibility for sport in his country.
A proposal for Germany to bid for a regional Rhein-Ruhl 2032 Games in 14 cities was floated two years ago, but as recently as this past March Berlin’s interior minister Andreas Geisel suggested his city pursue the 2036 Olympic Games – on the anniversary of the controversial Berlin 1936 edition that was used as a propaganda tool for Nazi Germany ahead of World War II.
“It would be unthinkable,” Seehofer told Frankfurt newspaper Allgemeine Zeitung regarding the plans.
“If we did that, we would bring on an unspeakable international discussion and harm the Olympic idea.
“How would people see it across the world? Germany celebrating the 100-year anniversary of the Nazi Olympics?
“That cannot happen.”
But Geisel labeled Seehofer’s comments as “absurd.”
According to DPA he explained “On the contrary. This occasion could be used to show on the sports stage that Germany has learned its lesson from history.”
“One hundred years after 1936, we are talking about a completely different country: a democratic, liberal and open-minded country,” he added.
Germany last hosted the Olympics in 1972, a Summer Games remembered for the Palestinian terror attack that resulted in the murder of 11 Israeli athletes.
Berlin was defeated in a bid to host in 2000 and Leipzig failed to earn a spot on the IOC shortlist to stage the Games in 2012. Munich was defeated by PyeongChang to host the 2018 Winter edition.
Other recent German Olympic bids have struggled to move forward with a 2024 Summer Games bid from Hamburg rejected in a mid-campaign public referendum in 2015, and Munich’s shot at the 2022 Winter Games ended with a similar vote before an application was submitted in 2013.
This downward spiraling public support in German poses an additional challenge for any future Games in the nation.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is currently led by German Thomas Bach who has introduced several reforms since 2013 that are designed to boost public acceptance for hosting the Games with improvements to sustainability, efficiency and environmental impacts.
But Seehofer further fears that “in the eyes of the public, the IOC has wandered too far from its original idea and into commercialism,” Allgemeine Zeitung reported.
The next Summer Games open for hosting will take place in 2032. Many nations have already expressed interest in bidding including Indonesia, China, India, Australia and jointly between North and South Korea.
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.