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CANADA

Sorry Germany, but Canada’s gold for bobsleigh champ Lueders

Win or lose, there's nothing to match Canada in the view of four-time Olympian and 1998 bobsleigh champion Pierre Lueders - even if it upsets Germany.

Sorry Germany, but Canada's gold for bobsleigh champ Lueders
Photo: DPA

Finalising preparations Thursday for his fifth Olympiad, Lueders was emphatic when asked to allude to his family’s German roots.

“My parents came to Canada and they’re proud Canadians. I’m a proud Canadian,” stressed Lueders, 39. “It just so happens my parents wanted to come to a better country.”

But Germany can take a little credit for something – not least, Lueder’s career.

That’s because the former decathlete only turned to bobsleigh after German cousin Gunnar Meinhardt introduced him to it on a visit to Berlin more than 20 years ago.

“Speed, danger – it sounded exciting,” the son of East German émigrés observed.

Whatever Lueders thinks of the relative merits of Canada and Germany he’s held in high esteem in both countries, having had a German fan club since his 1995 World Championships silver medal at Winterburg.

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OLYMPICS

Germany’s Interior Minister rules out ‘unthinkable’ bid to host 2036 Olympics

Interior Minister Horst Seehofer has ruled out a bid to host the 2036 Olympics, saying in an interview that it would be "unthinkable" on the 100th anniversary of the Nazi-era 1936 Games in Berlin.

Germany's Interior Minister rules out 'unthinkable' bid to host 2036 Olympics
Interior Minister Horst Seehofer. Photo: DPA

Held three years before the outbreak of the Second World War, the 1936 games are widely remembered as a propaganda coup for Adolf Hitler's Nazi regime.

In March this year, Berlin's state minister of the interior Andreas Geisel faced heavy criticism after he appeared to suggest Berlin should bid for the 2036 Olympics in an interview with Tagesspiegel newspaper.

However, the 69-year-old Seehofer, whose ministry also holds the sports portfolio, said Germany could not be seen to celebrate the centenary of the Nazi-era Berlin Olympics.

“It would be unthinkable. If we did that, we would bring on an unspeakable international discussion and harm the Olympic idea,” he told Frankfurt-based newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) in an interview published on Monday.

“How would people see it across the world? Germany celebrating the 100-year anniversary of the Nazi Olympics? That cannot happen.”

Aside from concerns over associations with the Nazi regime, there is scant public support for hosting the Olympics in Germany.

READ ALSO: Interior Ministry begs for more cash after 'forgetting' landmark reunification celebration

Public referendums, in 2015 and 2013, rejected proposed Olympic bids to host the summer games in Hamburg and a winter edition in Munich respectively.

Seehofer said that he was generally in favour of a German Olympic bid, but voiced concern that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) had become too focused on commercial success.

“In the eyes of the public, the IOC has wandered too far from its original idea and into commercialism,” he told the FAZ.

He called on the IOC to “de-commercialise” and said he had “a lot of sympathy” for the German Athletes' Commission, which last year demanded that the IOC share a quarter of its profits with Olympic participants.

By Kit Holden

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