Exclusive Interview With Willy Bogner, Munich 2018 Olympic Winter Games Bid Chief (Part 1 of 2)

Willy Bogner is a Munich born two-time Olympic skier, winter sports filmmaker and sports fashion entrepeneur, and last November he was appointed head of the Munich 2018 Olympic bid. Having previously hosted the Summer Olympics in 1972, Munich is now considered a strong contender to win this Winter Olympic bid.

By Monday, the three bids for the 2018 Olympic Winter Games will submit their initial questionnaire responses – or mini bid-books – to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for evaluation. Based on these documents, the IOC will create a short-list of candidates to be announced in June.

While in Vancouver in February, GamesBids.com met Bogner who’s bid team was participating in the Olympic observers’ program.

Following is Part 1 (of 2) of GamesBids.com’s exclusive one-on-one interview with Bogner; a conversation with background on the Munich 2018 bid.

GB – “What will you take from your experience in Vancouver?”

WB – “It’s a complex undertaking, I think that is the first message – it’s even much more complicated than you thought. It’s going to be a lot more work and will require much more time and much more effort than you ever thought in your life.

Because we look obviously at every detail – how does the city look; how is the reaction of the people; how are the venues; how is transportation going; what’s the mood of the people; how is the response in the media – it obviously plays a big role if our team is successful or not.

And obviously what’s happening; things that you can’t really control like the accident the first day; how did they handle that? – They handled it beautifully I must say, I have great respect for how they handled it.

So we compare each other and say okay, how is the general plan for Munich compared to Vancouver? And in that respect we’re quite favourably confident that we will technically be as good as Vancouver.”

GB – “How will you use the information you get from Vancouver?”

WB – This will influence the real bid book and whatever we learn here will be part of the main bid and then obviously afterwards the real work starts and you can bring in all of the details you see here too.

GB – “How will you leverage the Munich 1972 Olympic Games?”

WB – “This is a great advantage that we don’t have to build as much as many other people would because we can use venues like our stadium where the opening and closing ceremonies were in 1972 and we kept it in such good shape we can reuse it, spruce it up a little bit but we don’t have to start from scratch. Also the venues in Garmisch-Partenkirchen are all very modern, very experienced, so in comparison to other places we have to touch very little new land because a lot of it is already existing.”

GB – “How important is the German team’s success at these Vancouver Games?”

WB – This is important that we are recognized as one of the major winter sports centres in the world. And we are present in practically all of the sports, we’re not only specialized in, say, alpine skiing or skating or whatever – but we have a strong team all across the sports so we can develop many, many sports at the same time. Obviously our aim is also to bring the new generation into the sport which is a constant challenge against the computer world.

GB – “How do you react to opposition groups to your bid?”

WB – You’ve got to differentiate between constructive criticism that people have a concern that they can address and solve together as people that can work with and maybe they have a good idea; because we’re quite proud of our concept for sustainability and things like that – especially with environmental issues I think we are really very well positioned – but there are others that just want to use the bid as a forum for their own interests and this is common to all of the bids. But to any significant degree, we have 100% backing from all the politicians; but there might be one or the other politician who seek attention by not going with the majority.

GB – “Are you able to work with these opposition groups?”

WB – Yes, we are in good contact and good dialogue – we don’t see a major problem there.

Click this link to read part 2