Giganticism kills sports festival: why Munich is no reason for Olympic euphoria

The European Championships in Munich are over.

Giganticism kills sports festival: why Munich is no reason for Olympic euphoria

The European Championships in Munich are over. And now the Olympic Games follow? The delirium of joy, the euphoria is great. The DOSB is also striving for something bigger. But the approach is wrong, bigger is not always better.

Munich is slowly waking up from the intoxication of the past ten days. There were days full of sport, full of euphoria, enthusiasm and jubilation. The people of Munich celebrated with their guests, they celebrated the sport, they also celebrated themselves. The European Championships were a complete success, nine sports in the Bavarian capital held their European Championships together. The athletes were also enthusiastic. The Norwegian 400-meter hurdles world record holder Karsten Warholm, for example, advocated that the European Championships should always be held in Germany.

Fortunately, there is no hangover after the intoxication. The sports facilities, in which the athletes and the spectators experienced great competitions together, have mostly been there for 50 years, since the Olympic Games in 1972, and are guaranteed not to degenerate into zombie structures. No new neighborhoods were built, no railway lines were built, everything was already there. Fans and reporters alike enjoyed the short distances between the competition venues, most of which were located in the scenically and architecturally magnificent Olympic Park and in the middle of the city. ARD and ZDF were able to come up with large ratings successes on TV.

Because everyone is in such a good mood, the call for the Olympic Games in Germany promptly gets louder again. Bavaria's Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann said at the closing press conference: "It's actually high time that summer or winter games were held in Germany again." In view of the criticism of other organizers, in view of ecological sins or the human rights situation, Germany must set a good example. There is also a renewed push from the official side: "The Presidium of the German Olympic Sports Confederation has decided: We want to tackle the Olympics," says DOSB President Thomas Weikert of the "Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung".

But this argument is misleading. As nice as the European Championships in Munich were, they have little in common with the Olympic Games. One is a fairly small event with nine sports, the other a giga-event with almost 30 sports at world level. Instead of ten days with almost 4,000 athletes, the Olympics last four weeks with more than 10,000 active people. Also, many more fans would arrive from all over the world - and accordingly would have to be accommodated somewhere.

The swimmers have already had to hold their parallel European Championships in Rome because the Olympic swimming pool in Munich does not meet the requirements of the European association - which requires ten lanes, Munich only has eight. New sports facilities would inevitably have to be built for the Olympic Games in Munich, and the Olympic Park would also be too small for sports and festivals on a global scale, as it has now worked so wonderfully in the European context. The athletes are also aware of this, who have absorbed the past ten days so much, who have been pushed like never before. European decathlon champion Niklas Kaul, for example, only spoke out in favor of the Olympics in Germany with the caveat that they were sustainable. Incidentally, even in 1972 the short distances could not be maintained completely: The sailing competitions took place in Kiel 50 years ago - far away from Munich.

The justification that Germany should not just leave the hosting of major sporting events to rogue states is wrong. The upcoming 2024 Games will be held in France, the Winter Games in Italy, followed by the USA and Australia hosting the Summer Games. Other states are usually booked as villains rather than these organizers. Herrmann's implicit slap in the face of Qatar - placed a few months before the start of the World Cup - failed.

Speaking of organizers, Munich would have little say in the Olympic Games in its own city, the International Olympic Committee would then take over the command. Their sponsors decide. And because a lot of money seeps into questionable sources there and at the same time IOC President Thomas Bach refused to make clear commitments to human rights in China, for example, the skepticism is appropriate despite all the euphoria. The European Championships were a frenzy. But the ugly awakening would probably come at the Olympic Games.

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