Germany still hoping to host 2023 Olympics after IOC statement

The Rhine-Ruhr region will to continue its bid to host the 2032 Olympic Games, Armin Laschet, premier of the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, said on Friday after consulting with the mayors of the cities involved.

“We will continue to fight. The support of the cities is still there,” Laschet said.

On Wednesday, the executive board of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) declared Brisbane, Australia, the preferred candidate to host the Summer Games in 11 years.

This means that the German Rhine-Ruhr initiative has hardly any chances left. But Laschet reacted with incomprehension to the IOC decision.

“There is no question that the IOC decision on Wednesday surprised us and also hit us. I was told that, for the IOC, Brisbane is a good candidate in uncertain times. I don’t share this view,” said Laschet, who also criticised the German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB).

He said the DOSB didn’t see itself in a position to enter the conversations with the IOC. “The amazing thing is that there is no sense of what is going on at the IOC.”

Should the bid for 2032 fail, as expected, then the Rhine-Ruhr region would also consider a bid for the Games in 2036.

“We would prepare for Games in the 30s, that could be 2032, that could also be 2036,” Laschet said.

Staging the games in Germany 100 years after the event was hosted in Berlin under the Nazi regime is not seen as an obstacle by Laschet.

“The world is a different one 100 years later than it was at the 1936 Games,” he said.

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