Munich 2018 Bid Clears Vital Referendum Hurdle

May 9, 2011

The bid of Munich to host the 2018 Winter Olympics cleared a major hurdle yesterday, May 8, when residents of the Alpine town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen rejected petitions to halt the city’s bid to stage the Games.

A majority of 58 per cent of the 12,476 people voted in favour of hosting the skiing events of the 2018 Games should Munich win the bid, while 51 per cent opposed a review of the contracts regarding the Games. The landowners and local community members in opposition to Munich 2018 had claimed that the Games presented an environmental hazard for the valley.

Munich bid CEO Bernhard Schwank told Reuters: “The result of today’s poll confirmed the majority of the population is really in favour of staging Olympic and Paralympic winter events here in Bavaria. With this decision today we are very happy and we can look ahead…to July 6. We are very positive that we are in the race with our two competitors and have a great chance to win.”

Thomas Bach, President of the German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB), also expressed his delight at the result, adding that he had been highly confident from the beginning that the residents of Garmisch-Partenkirchen would back Munich’s bid.

Bach, Ineternational Olympic Committee (IOC) vice-president and Munich 2018 chairman stated: “For me, this is just confirmation of what I have always known would happen because I have always known that the residents of the area support our bid so I was highly confident we would win.

“I am also happy with the margin of the victory in the referendums.”

Local opponents of the Munich 2018 bid had gathered 2,500 signatures to force the vote and 59 per cent of the electorate turned up for the referendum.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) will select the winning bid from the candidates of Munich, PyeongChang and Annecy on July 6 during its session in Durban, South Africa.