Munich bid backed for 2022 Winter Olympics

The German Cultural Council committed its support on Tuesday for a Munich bid to host the 2022 Winter Olympics.

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A local public referendum is set to take place on Sunday to determine community support for the goal of bringing an Olympics to the Bavarian capital, which would follow 50 years on from Munich staging its summer Games that was blighted by a massacre in the athletes' village.

Backing has come from within sporting and government circles, with football great Franz Beckenbauer saying on Monday: "From my feelings and from my experience, I can say: We need the Games."

The success beyond its sporting core of London's 2012 Olympics and Paralympics has convinced the German Cultural Council that Munich could similar crossover achievements.

Its president, Christian Hoppner, said: "Hosting the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in 2022 would be a positive signal for culture in Germany.

"For almost a month the world would look at the cultural and sporting landscape of Germany.

"It's an excellent opportunity to show athletes and spectators the richness of our cultural diversity alongside the sporting competition."

There have been fears expressed in Munich over the possible cost of staging the Games, and opponents have raised environmental concerns.

Germany's Olympic Sports Federation (DOSB) confirmed it would support a bid in September, having failed in an attempt to secure the 2018 Games which went to Pyeongchang. Almaty in Kazakhstan is the only city confirmed to have formally launched a bid.

While Munich would be the hub for a Games, events would take place in notable winter sports locations, including Garmisch-Partenkirchen.

DOSB general director Dr Michael Vesper said: "The support of the German Cultural Council shows that the bid for the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in 2022 is supported by a broad social coalition.

"Sport and culture have shared potential. We could work together with the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Munich, as they managed in London, where a staggering 43.4 million people participated in the Cultural Olympiad, which was held to accompany the Olympic Games."

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