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Olympic hero in doghouse over shooting

German Olympic hero David Storl, who won the shot put silver medal at London 2012, has been denied a state honour from the president because of an unfortunate incident with a dog and an air rifle.

Olympic hero in doghouse over shooting
Photo: DPA

President Joachim Gauck on Wednesday presented all Germany’s Olympic and Paralympic medal winners with the Silver Laurel Leaf for their services to Germany. But there was one notable absence.

The 22-year-old Storl was denied the honour because he shot at a dog with an air rifle in an ill-advised incident a year before the Games, Bild newspaper reported on Thursday.

Storl was reportedly seen taking pot-shots at the dog with a friend on June 2, 2011, at his training ground in Chemnitz. He was training to be a police officer at the time – and although the dog’s owner reportedly decided not to to press charges, the incident was recorded in Storl’s file.

That is apparently where the presidential office learned of the event, and it appears to have cost Storl a handshake from the president.

“It is a case-by-case check – the severity of the misdemeanour, whether there are victims, and how long ago the incident happened are all taken into account,” a spokesman for the president said.

“I don’t want to comment on it anymore,” Storl told the paper. “I can only say that I have regretted it for a long time.”

The Local/bk

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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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