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Landowners give way in dispute over Munich's Olympic bid

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Landowners give way in dispute over Munich's Olympic bid
Photo: DPA
08:36 CEST+02:00
Munich's bid to host the 2018 Winter Olympics would seem all set now that organisers have secured the last piece of property needed for the crucial downhill course.

"The properties for the sporting events of the 2018 Winter Games have now been secured 100 percent," said Bernhard Schwank, the bid's chief executive.

"Seven years before possibly staging the games, we have an optimal offer for the IOC.

"We are very happy and thank the negotiators for the amicable solution they have found."

Problems emerged for the bid when 63 private landowners in the Bavarian resort of Garmisch-Partenkirchen, which has been lined up to host the Alpine and Nordic events, refused to hand over their properties to be used for the games.

Local citizens voted in favour of the Olympics in a referendum one week ago and now the landowners have yielded to allow their land to be used after a legal battle.

Part of the land in question made up a section of the downhill course, the crux event of any Winter Olympic Games.

"I am delighted that by careful and constructive negotiations we have managed to secure this very important area for the Olympics," said Garmisch-Partenkirchen mayor Thomas Schmid.

Munich is bidding to become the first city to host both a Summer and Winter Olympics, having hosted the 1972 Summer Games, but must beat rivals Pyeongchang in South Korea and the French town of Annecy.

The Germans will present their bid to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) members on Wednesday in Lausanne, Switzerland with a final decision being made in Durban, South Africa, on July 6.

AFP/hc

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