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OLYMPICS

Germans grab gold at luge world championship

German luge athletes made a clean sweep of the gold medals this weekend at this year’s world championship event in Canada, just one year before the 2014 Winter Olympic games in Russia.

Germans grab gold at luge world championship
Photo: DPA

The Germans destroyed the opposition, taking four golds in four events: the men’s individual and pairs events, the men’s team event and the women’s individual. This sets the bar high for next year’s winter Olympics, the Süddeutsche Zeitung reported on Sunday.

Felix Loch won the men’s individual and Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt took gold in the two-seater. Natalie Geisenberger won the women’s event, beating out her teammate Olympic gold medalist Tatjana Hüfner for Geisenberger’s first world title.

A Canadian was third and two other Germans were fourth and fifth in the women’s event.

“Our team concluded a sensational World Championship,” said Sport Director Thomas Schwab from the German Federation of Luge and Bobsleds.

The athletes competed on the same course used for the 2010 Vancouver Olympic games.

The Local/mw

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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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