Germany to explore hosting future Olympics in five possible regions through public consultation

The German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB) Thursday launched a public dialogue and information initiative aimed at bidding to host a future Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Campaign poster "Your Ideas, Your Games", advertising the DOSB initiative to find a future Olympics host through public consultation (Photo: DOSB handout)
Campaign poster “Your Ideas, Your Games”, advertising the DOSB initiative to find a future Olympics host through public consultation (Photo: DOSB handout)

Dubbed “Your Ideas. Your Games.” the campaign will roll out across the nation and will include 10 specialist talks covering sport, business, sustainability and society. Livestreaming, and then available on demand from mid August, the talks will lead to public dialogue forums in interested regions in the fall. Additionally, the public will be encouraged to take part online through social media channels and the campaign website at

The DOSB is targeting five specific regions that have shown interest and have been deemed viable to host a Games including Hamburg, Berlin, Munich, Leipzig and North Rhine-Westphalia. Berlin hosted Germany’s first Summer Games in 1936 followed by Munich in 1972. Garmisch-Partenkirchen staged the only Winter Games in the nation in 1936.

Berlin lost its bid to host the 2000 Games that were awarded to Sydney and Leipzig missed the shortlist when the city vied to host in 2012. Munich came second to PyeongChang after a run at the 2018 Winter Games.

Then further attempts by Germany to bid for the Games were halted by fierce public opposition and lost referendums including Munich’s follow-up campaign to host in 2022 and Hamburg’s bid to host in 2024. Most of those opposed pointed to the high costs and risks then associated with hosting the largest sports event on the planet.

But through new International Olympic Committee (IOC) reforms including the “New Norm” and Agenda 2020+5, operational requirements have been reduced to minimize expenses and organizers are strongly encouraged to use only existing venues and infrastructure – eliminating most of the capital outlay.

“The Games of the future will no longer be what we know from the past few years,” DOSB Chair Torsten Burmester said.

“There has long been the possibility of rethinking and designing many things. The Games adapt to the host, no longer the host to the Games.

“We want to take advantage of that. We want an application that is not just ‘made in’ but ‘made by Germany’,” Burmester added.

The Chair hopes the IOC reforms are enough to reduce public opposition, allowing a new bid to move forward and build upon the nation’s recent success in hosting the European Championships in Munich and the Special Olympic World Games in Berlin.

“Current surveys show that there are high approval ratings for an application. But there are still a few reservations that we want to use arguments to dispel.

“It is also important for us to provide comprehensive information about the fact that a lot has changed in recent years in relation to the Olympic and Paralympic Games and the application process.”

Results of the public campaign will be announced at the DOSB general meeting on December 2, 2023 with a vote on whether to approve funding to develop a bid. A more specific project proposal would follow in May 2024, and a referendum in the selected region could come at the end of the year or in 2025. That timing removes Germany from a run at the Winter Games in 2030 where the IOC is expected to select from among Sweden, Switzerland, Salt Lake City and possible other interested regions at a meeting in December and setting them up for an election in July 2024.

The IOC could also decide to award the host of the 2034 Winter Games at the same time, and name a permanent pool of Winter hosts for the foreseeable future.

Milan-Cortina in Italy is set to host the Winter Games in 2026, and Los Angeles and Brisbane are readying to stage the Summer Games in 2028 and 2032 respectively. Paris will host the Olympics next year.

The DOSB said its current campaign will target the subsequent Summer editions in 2036 and 2040 or the Winter Games in 2038 or 2042.

Berlin had plans to bid for the 2036 Games as early as 2019, but many German’s felt it would be inappropriate for the capital to host the event on the 100th anniversary of the Nazi propagandized 1936 Games presided over by Hitler.

A Winter Games is thought only feasible with Munich as a host due to the city’s proximity to the Alps and necessary snow sport venues.

But Munich Mayor Dieter Reiter isn’t behind such a plan, he told broadcaster BR24 Sport “I don’t see a chance for the Winter Games in Munich.”

“That’s exactly where sustainability is difficult,” he added, explaining that residents voted against the 2022 project ten years ago on those grounds.

Instead, he hopes to join the state of Bavaria for a Summer Games bid where he says public interest exists.

The national government supports the campaign with State Secretary Juliane Seifert explaining “We welcome the concept of the DOSB, which involves people at an early stage, which convinces them that focuses on sustainability and human rights. In order to find the best ideas, it is right that the DOSB is now seeking dialogue with the population.”

Germany had expressed interest in hosting the 2032 Summer Games that were awarded to Brisbane in 2021 when the IOC unexpectedly singled out the Australian city for quick election under its new bidding guidelines. The new and confusing bid process led DOSB officials, and those at other national Olympic committees to accuse the IOC of lack of transparency.

Now the new process is being embraced with Burmester explaining “before we finally decide on an application, we want to answer the question why Germany wants an application for the Olympic and Paralympic Games in an open and argumentative discourse. Or why not.”

The IOC has signaled that at least 10 regions around the world have expressed interest in hosting a future Summer Games, but they have not disclosed names.

Nations that have voice interest publicly include South Korea, India, Indonesia, Qatar, Hungary, Turkey, Mexico, Egypt and U.K. There is no set timetable for awarding the 2036 Games. Prospective bidders enter into ongoing discussions until the IOC chooses a smaller number of candidates for targeted dialogue aimed at a final election.

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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