Munich 2018 Debates Sustainability Concept

An animated discussion on “What a Winter Games in 2018 would bring to Munich” took place at a public debate Thursday night led by Katarina Witt, Chair of Munich 2018, Joschka Fischer, Germany’s former Foreign Minister and Green Party member, Christian Ude, Mayor of Munich, Christian Stickl, Director of the Oberammergau Passion Play, and Katharina Schulze, Leader of the Green Party in Munich.

The panellists took questions from more than 300 guests, including representatives from the OlympiJA and NOlympia groups, and local government, business and sport leaders.

Witt highlighted what a Winter Games in Munich could mean for the development of German sport. She said several Munich 2018 sports ambassadors were there to offer their perspective on the bid’s athlete-friendly attributes.

She added, “our bid has been developed with a core focus on the athletes and their needs. Existing sports centres in Bavaria will be modernized to boost community and professional sports facilities to the highest possible level. These investments go far beyond 2018 and will benefit German sport as a whole for years to come. Munich 2018 will leave a powerful sporting and social legacy for Bavaria and Germany, and become a blueprint for ensuring mega-events’ long-term benefits to communities”.

Joschka Fischer, a high-profile political commentator and a respected member of the Green Party, gave Munich 2018 his unequivocal vote of confidence. He said, “I support the bid wholeheartedly. It is good for our country and for the region to promote ourselves. Let’s take this opportunity”.

Witt said, “the most important measure of public support is the atmosphere at events. We have proven our passion for winter sports at 12 World Cups and three World Championships this season alone and for another 40 years”.

The bid committee listened to different opinions from the diverse audience and put forward its strong sustainability concept for a Winter Games.

Ude stressed the huge development potential in a Munich Winter Games. He said, “should we win the right to host the 2018 Winter Games, the Olympic Park would be expanded with more greenery and benefit from ecologically upgraded facilities and two modern multi-purpose halls. With the new Olympic Village and the Media Village more than 1,300 state-of-the-art, energy-plus housing units will be built, and this is something that has never been achieved before by a Games”.

He added he has “never witnessed a large project in Germany that enjoys such public and political support so many years before it actually takes place”.