Environmental group raises questions over Munich 2018 bid

September 15, 2010

An umbrella group of German conservation organisations has withdrawn from a commission evaluating the Munich 2018 Winter Olympic Games bid, saying the plans are environmentally irresponsible.

The German nature conservation ring (DNR) represents 96 environmental groups and has claimed that the bid’s plans to host part of the Games in nearby Garmish-Partenkirchen would damage the environment.

DNR general secretary Helmut Roescheisen said: “We consider, after careful examination of the bid files and two long talks with leading bid representatives, that the hosting of the Games in Garmisch-Partenkirchen with its narrow valleys and its ecologically important areas is irresponsible.

“There is just far too much infrastructure work involved, what with the athletes village, the media village, even the expansion of the skiing slopes, that we just cannot be part of this commission and are dropping out of it.”

Head of the Munich 2018 supervisory board, Michael Vesper, has rejected DNR’s claims, saying: “The vision for an environmentally friendly Games has in no way failed. Quite the opposite.

“This is the the most ambitious environmental concept for an Olympic bid in decades. We will continue working to convince the critics.”

Munich is up against PyeongChang (South Korea) and Annecy (France) to host the 2018 Games. A decision will be made by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) next July.