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'We are all Hamburgers': De Maizière

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'We are all Hamburgers': De Maizière
The Olympic rings at the Sochi Winter Olympics in 2014. Photo: DPA
07:14 CET+01:00
Update: After Hamburg secured an important endorsement to be the German candidate for the 2024 Olympic bid on Monday, German interior minister Thomas de Maizière called for nationwide support for the city.
A special group of the German Olympic Committee announced at a Monday night press conference that they had chosen Hamburg over Berlin to apply for the 2024 Olympic bid.
 
De Maizière told reporters on Tuesday that he pledged full government support for the bid.
 
"We are all Hamburgers for the Olympics from today onwards," the interior minister said. "Olympic Games in Germany strengthen our patriotism."
 
The assembly from the German Olympic Committee (DOSB) said on Monday that they had chosen Hamburg because the city "offers a fascinating and compact Olympic concept and the development of a north German and north European metropolitan region can be promoted," said DOSB president Alfons Hörmann at the press conference.

"This Olympic bid is a project of the whole of Germany," added Hörmann.

A poll last week showed that 64 percent of Hamburg residents polled supported having the games in their city.

"For us, it would be a great honour to welcome the world in Hamburg," said Hamburg mayor Olaf Scholz in a statement.

During its campaign for the bid, Hamburg had promised to build a brand new stadium for the Olympics while Berlin spent nearly a quarter of a million euros on a campaign to raise support for the games, under the slogan "We want the games!"

"The sporting institutions have decided. Hamburg will become the candidate for the German Olympic bid," said Berlin mayor Michael Müller in a statement following the announcement.

"I would like to thank Hamburg today for the exciting, fair and sportsmanlike domestic competition."

Berlin sports senator Frank Henkel expressed disappointment in the decision.

"It is a shame that things did not work out," said Henkel in a statement. "I am convinced that Berlin, in its sustainable approach, would have been a good candidate."

The German Olympic Committee must still formally approve the recommendation on Saturday, March 21st. The committee will also have to ensure that the Hamburg community is in favour of the games through a local referendum.

The International Olympic Committee will make its own decision in 2017. Rome and Boston are also hoping to win the 2024 bid.

If Hamburg wins the chance to host the Olympics, it would be the first time that Germany has hosted any Olympic games since the 1972 summer games in Munich.
 
That year, 11 Israeli athletes, a German police officer and five members of the radical Palestinian group Black September died after the group took people hostage.
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