Munich 2018's vision for making Olympic history by staging Winter Games events in Summer Games venues for the first time clearly made a powerful impact on the IOC's Commission members. The report highlights that through 'revitalising and transforming' the 1972 venues with "extensive use of existing and temporary facilities", a "Munich 2018 Games would be low-impact with a high degree of sustainability". The Evaluation Commission praised Munich 2018's "strong and innovative sustainability strategy for a carbon-neutral Games", typified by the ambitious Flagship 18 ecology projects.
Chair of the Munich 2018 Bid Committee, Katarina Witt, was confident that the team would be buoyed by such positive feedback: "We are delighted with the Evaluation Commission's positive report and we would like to thank its members for taking the time to give such a thorough analysis of our strengths, and of our challenges. It is very pleasing to know that we were able to communicate just what Munich 2018 could bring to the Olympic Movement so effectively. And as a former athlete myself, I was delighted to read the Commission's comments on our compact athlete-friendly concept. The report notes that 80% of athletes would have a travel time of less than 10 minutes from their Olympic Village to their competition venues. Munich 2018 truly is a bid by athletes, for athletes".
The report did point to some inconsistent public support as a possible weakness, but the Munich 2018 Bid Committee today took the opportunity to emphasise the increasingly enthusiastic mood surrounding the bid. With Sunday's overwhelming vote of confidence from the people of Garmisch-Partenkirchen, they were keen to underline the shift in momentum. The report's annexe revealed that nationally, just 9% of people are actually against the Winter Games.
Munich 2018 CEO, Bernhard Schwank, reiterated his belief that Munich 2018 can count on the full support of the people of Germany: "The IOC's poll was taken right at the start of the winter sports season. Since then, Germany has hosted 3 World Championships and 12 World Cups in sports on the Winter Games programme, in front of over a million live spectators and a television audience of a billion (...) The latest independent public polls are showing a nationwide approval rating of around 75%. That is considerably higher than the ratings for the 2006 FIFA World Cup at the same stage, and we all know what an incredible celebration that turned out to be. But figures only tell part of the story. For us, the best measure is the electrifying atmosphere that ha s been lighting up our sold-out stadia all season long. We have connected Munich 2018 with the passion and the enthusiasm this country, and this region especially, have for winter sports".
Germany's rich heritage of staging world-class winter sports events was another key strength acknowledged by the Evaluation Commission. The report cited this year's FIS Alpine World Ski Championships, the FIBT Bob and Skeleton World Championships and the Single Distance speed skating World Championships as particularly strong examples, along with the 2006 FIFA World Cup, the 2009 IAAF World Championships and, later this year, the FIFA Women's World Cup.
Bernhard Schwank went on to comment on the Evaluation Commission's appraisal of the bid's low-risk financial concept: "This is one aspect of our bid that really sets us apart, so we are delighted that we have managed to convey it to the Evaluation Commission. The report references the German market's 'strong tradition of support for winter sports events'; the sports sponsorship market in Germany is in fact set to be worth an estimated €22 billion between 2013 and 2020. This represents enormous potential for attracting new, invigorating investment to winter sports all over the world. Munich 2018 can be an excellent platform for ensuring the long-term health and sustainability of the winter sports movement".
Bernhard Schwank has issued the following initial reaction to the IOC Evaluation Commission's highly positive appraisal of the Bavarian capital's bid: "On very first reading, we are absolutely thrilled with the IOC Evaluation Commission's report on Munich 2018. Of course we will be reading and digesting the report more closely, but right now we want to offer our sincere thanks to the Commission members for their full and frank assessment of our bid's strengths.
It was particularly pleasing to see that the core pillars of our Winter Games concept clearly resonated with the Commission during its visit, particularly Munich 2018's compact, athlete-friendly plan and our unique story of Olympic sustainability. The report cites our 'strong and innovative sustainability strategy with the extensive use of existing and tempor ary facilities'; we are delighted that our vision of staging a Winter Games in existing Summer Games venues for the first time in Olympic history struck a chord with the Commission".
The Evaluation Commission, chaired by the IOC member in Sweden Gunilla Lindberg, spent four days in each Candidate City earlier this year to conduct on-site inspections and carry out an assessment of the cities’ 2018 Olympic Winter Games projects.
The Report is a technical analysis which is being provided to IOC members prior to the "2018 Briefing for IOC Members" which will be held on 18 and 19 May in Lausanne. During this meeting the Candidate Cities will have the opportunity to present the technical aspects of their candidatures to the IOC members and answer questions.
Munich is bidding with Annecy and PyeongChang, for the right to host the 2018 Winter Olympic Games. The election of the host city will take place on 6th July during the 123rd IOC Session in Durban, South Africa.