Munich 2018 Claims Victory in Garmisch-Partenkirchen Referendum

Two separate petitions regarding the Munich 2018 Olympic bid faced a critical referendum today in Garmisch-Partenkirchen and the German Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach claimed victory on both.

“A majority of Garmisch-Partenkirchen is really in favour of getting and staging the Games in 2018,” Bach said during an international press conference announcing the results.

“It is a good day for Munich 2018, because where we had confidence, we now have certainty too. This democratic decision should now be accepted by everyone. The people of Vancouver voted in favour of the Winter Games with a 64% majority in a referendum a couple of days before their Evaluation Commission visit. A few months later, they were elected to host the 2010 Winter Games.”

An OlympiJa petition, asking voters whether they favoured the Olympic in Garmisch-Partenkirchen in 2018 passed with 58.1% of the vote after 59.6% of the electorate weighed in. The OlympiJa organization is in strong support of Munich 2018.

A separate petition by NOlympia, a group that opposes the staging of the Games, asked voters if they agree with the contracts signed to facilitate the Games. That question yielded a much closer result but was ultimately rejected with 49.4% of the vote.

A third ballot was also cast that would only be considered if the previous two votes were split, it asked whether the voter was for or against the Games in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. Though not valid, the results were released and they indicated that 54.9% were in favour of the Games; 45.1% opposed.

This referendum was considered a critical hurdle for the bid and these results should be sufficient for the IOC to be comfortable should they elect Munich to host the 2018 Games.

On Tuesday the International Olympic Committee (IOC) will release an evaluation report based on the site inspections and bid books submitted by the bid cities. Munich is competing with PyeongChang in South Korea and Annecy in France – the final decision will be made July 6 in Durban, South Africa.

Later this month the three bids will present their plans to IOC members in Lausanne and the Munich team is sure to highlight the success of the referendum, stressing that any doubt is now in the past.