Germany to consider several Olympic bid options starting with the 2034 Winter Games

President of Germany’s national Olympic committee (DOSB) Thomas Weikert said Monday that his organization is considering a bid to host the 2034 Olympic Winter Games. Failing that, several other Olympic hosting options remain on the table including the next available Summer Games in 2036.

DOSB president Thomas Weikert was elected December 4, 2021 (DOSB photo)
DOSB president Thomas Weikert was elected December 4, 2021 (DOSB photo)

“2040 would also be a possibility, of course,” Weikert told Sportchau.

“As the current presidency, we are aiming for an application as soon as possible, should we be re-elected, and that would be for the 2034 or 2036 Games.”

With candidates for the 2030 Winter Games now finalizing applications that could be considered by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as early as December, Weikert said there is no time to pursue that edition. Bids by Vancouver in Canada and Sapporo in Japan are most likely to host in 2030 with Salt Lake City in the United States considered a possible back-up candidate but more focused on 2034.

The United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) says the Utah capital is ready for 2030 but would rather build some time between a Winter Games and the already scheduled Los Angeles 2028 Summer Games, putting Salt Lake City and a possible German bid on a 2034 collision course.

A Winter Games may be a more comfortable choice for the DOSB because the next available Summer Games in 2036 would mark the awkward centennial of the Nazi-led Berlin 1936 edition that was notable for its use as a propaganda tool.

But possible locations and editions are far from decided, Weikert said.

“The dialogue process mentioned will take a year and a half, two years, in any case until after the 2024 Games in Paris.

“Then we will sum up and see whether we apply and with whom we apply if the whole thing turns out positive from our point of view.

“We won’t commit to anything beforehand. The new guidelines of the IOC give us more flexibility. For example, it doesn’t have to be just one location where the Olympic and Paralympic Games are held, according to modern interpretation there can also be two.”

Weikert also confirmed that one or more referendums would be held in affected regions before any bid moves forward.

“We want to ask everyone, especially the critics,” he said.

“People have to be taken along and heard. The debate culture in the DOSB is different now. It’s about education, information and participation in all parts of society.”

Weikert was elected DOSB president late last year, replacing Alfons Hörmann who earlier resigned and was criticized for his handling of previous bids.

Public opinion has been the greatest obstacle in the way of Germany’s quest to host its first Olympics since the 1972 Games in Munich. Prior to a Rhine-Ruhr Summer Games campaign that ended last year when the IOC preempted the race by awarding Brisbane the 2032 Games, referendums marked the death knell of two previous bids.

Hamburg was proposed for the 2024 Games but failed to move forward when voters narrowly rejected it in a vote in 2015. Munich lost a 2018 bid to host the Winter Games and was then prevented from following up with a 2022 campaign when voters rejected the plans in another referendum. Both referendum losses came after Thomas Bach, a German national, took over as IOC president.

Leipzig’s bid for the 2012 Summer Games ended when the IOC omitted it from the final short list because it failed to meet benchmark requirements. Berlin’s bid to host in 2000 was snuffed when IOC voters placed it fourth among five finalists on the ballot.

A 1992 Winter Games bid from Berchtesgaden fell when it received the least number of votes among seven candidates.

A senior producer and award-winning journalist covering Olympic bid business as founder of 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.

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