Riesch takes second gold after sister crashes out

Germany’s Maria Riesch took a second gold medal at the Winter Olympics in Canada on Friday night, winning the slalom to add to her combination gold.

Riesch takes second gold after sister crashes out
Photo: DPA

As the 25-year-old took the podium, her younger sister Susanne, 22, was in the crowd to support her, despite enormous disappointment at having failed to get through to the final herself.

Although Maria talked of, “the biggest day of my life,” she also had sympathy as well as tears for her sister. “For her it was probably one of the most bitter moments of her career,” she said.

“No matter how much I was happy, I was also suffering for her. The world finishes when you don’t make it.”

The sisters have both been very successful, taking places on the podium at two world cups. Hopes that they would share metalwork at the Olympics were dashed with Susanne’s failure.

Maria said, “The really big dream would have been to stand on the podium with her, but sadly we had to say goodbye to that.”

The training staff were also torn between joy for Maria and sympathy for Susanne. Wolfgang Maier, director of the alpinists said, “That it contrasted so starkly, that has a certain drama. With one it went so smoothly, and for the other one realises, it is only limping along. That hits one of course.”

Maria Riesch is the third double Olympic Alpine gold medallist from Germany, following Rosi Mittermaier in 1976 and Katja Seizinger in 1998.

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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