|“NOlympia“ platform against the Olympic Winter Games 2018 in Munich/Garmisch-Partenkirchen|
Offener Brief von Ludwig Hartmann/MdL, an J. Rogge, Bündnis 90/Die Grünen in Bayern, 11.7.2010
Dear Mr President, Dear Mr Rogge,
In reference to my letter of February 21, 2010, in which I mentioned that I would keep you up to date on my critique on the theme of the “Munich + 2“bid and also keep you informed on the ongoing activities of the “NOlympia“platform.
Firstly, I would like to underline that due to the proposed ecological format and the fact that the consequences would result in utter financial disaster for the towns and cities involved, contrary to the percentages that were printed in the “Mini Bid Book Munich 2018”, public consent regarding the hosting of the Olympic Winter Games is nowhere near as high as initially anticipated. The bid book quotes an 80% rate of approval; however, recent polls have made it apparent that this 80% rate of approval was mainly based on methodical mistakes during the polling process. Recently, a major German newspaper stated that the rate of approval in the major applicant city of Munich is below 70%1. Online polls amongst readers of other popular newspapers reveal that even this reduction to a 70% rate of approval is grossly exaggerated and report an approval rate in some polls2 that is as low as 10%.
Similar support is shown within political groups and various associations: In addition to the Green Party, the Green parliamentary group within the Bavarian Parliament and the National Committee of the Green Youth, also the Bund Naturschutz (Federal Nature Protection Association) as the largest Bavarian environmental protection association (170,000 members) has made a stance of opposition against Olympia 2018.
Taking into consideration the growing scepticism within the population, as a means to raise awareness and inform people on the risks and dangers involved in the bid, an information event that attracted over 200 guests took place on March 9, 2010, in Garmisch-Patenkirchen, which is one of the Games’ proposed venues4. During this event we were able to reveal to the crowd gathered the risk of their towns plummeting into debt and the catastrophic ecological destructive effects on their irreplaceable cultural landscape. In addition - after Munich and the other two bidders Annecy and Pyeongchang were officially announced as candidate cities on June 22, 2010 – Oberammergau has made a firm statement of resistance that is increasing in volume against the proposed venue of the biathlon and cross country skiing competitions. A citizens’ initiative demanded: No Olympia in the home of the world famous Passion play, this was intended to be achieved by means of a referendum.
A very responsive Oberammergau public were astoundingly swift to react in contributing their required signatures for the referendum. As it turns out, a referendum is not required anymore as the Bid Committee withdrew the application of Oberammergau probably because the results were a foregone conclusion.
The citizens’ initiative is convinced that the planned intervention into Oberammergau’s nature is by no means justifiable. For example it is absurd that the skiing routes should be planned on the sunny side of the mountains. This would have required immense technical effort and an outrageous volume of water and energy to guarantee snow conditions. In these current times of climate change and austerity of resources this cannot be justified. Moreover, there were no details whatsoever as to where the massive volume of water for the snow-making equipment was supposed to come from.
The Oberammergau landowners who were to rent out 400 allotments to facilitate the sporting venue also made a resounding stance of disapproval: Every fifth landowner flatly refused to rent out their allotments which would ultimately make the event impossibility. In less than one week, the initiators surpassed the required aprox. 400 signatures collecting more than 750 apposing signatures of the 5000 strong population of Oberammergau.
It is yet to be revealed which new town venue will be the alternative to Oberammergau.
We would like to offer the opportunity to all of the citizens of Bavaria and Germany to receive a detailed and earnest picture of all of the serious risks involved in the “Munich + 2” bid. As the devastating reality of the risks of the bid are revealed, the polls that have been conducted up to now show a blatant increase in opposition toward the games, it is high time to think about a general reform of the Olympic Winter Games in their present proposed format. More and more people are subscribing to the idea that instead of being a symbol of international understanding and unification in the spirit of a great sporting event the winter games have merely become a massive commercial circus in a theatre of pilfering finance. It is the host towns which lose on all accounts both in a financial capacity and more importantly in the lasting devastating damage to the natural environment which our children will inevitably inherit. As long as this event is focussed solely on mercenary financial tactics for gain it will always be at the expense of mankind and Mother Nature. It is an understatement to say that we do not want this event to take place in our towns and cities. I therefore appeal to you to revise the concept of the games regarding the
ecological and financial aspects and to set respective standards for the bidding competition. I can assure you that until we have reached an amicable understanding and agreement on all of the issues under question that the platform “NOlympia” and I will continue in our relentless efforts against the staging of the Winter Games in Bavaria.
As a representative for the platform “NOlympia” I will continue with my regular informative reports on the progression of our platform and the ever increasing critique regarding the Munich bid.