Hamburg votes no to Olympic bid


Berlin, Nov. 30, (GNA/dpa) – German high-performance sports will develop further despite the rejection of Hamburg’s bid for the 2024 Olympics, but a big opportunity has been missed, leading officials said on Monday.

“Now successful sport must be developed in Germany without the home Games,” German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB) chief Alfons Hoermann told ARD television.

Hoermann said the issue and a planned reform of high-performance sport will be discussed at Saturday’s DOSB assembly.

The DOSB General Director Michael Vesper said that “life goes on” and the reasons for the 51.6 per cent rejection in Sunday’s referendum must be analysed before “we must continue to support sport for everyone, including high-performance sport.”

Sylvia Schenk from Transparency International meanwhile told dpa that, the DOSB “lacked a basic strategy” and said it was too easy to blame the result on the large number of migrants coming to Germany, security concerns around the Paris attacks and the scandals of major sports federations.

“You must position yourself much clearer and more strategically these days,” Schenk said.

German athletics chief Clemens Prokop said that Olympics “won’t be an issue for a generation” and Friedhelm Julius Beucher from Germany’s disability sports organization DBS said “sports Germany was denied a big opportunity.”

Winter sports federations also chimed in, with Bob and Luge Federation president Andreas Trautvetter speaking of “a catastrophe.

“We approve double-digit billion figures to save banks and accommodate refugees and want to present ourselves as a broad-minded country – and then we don’t want to invite the youth of the world to the most important high-performance sports event in the world,” he said.

In Hamburg, sports senator Michael Naumann told NDR radio that “a majority of citizens … shied away from the risk” and the city missed “a huge opportunity.”

GNA

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