BELGRADE Nov 26 Katarina Witt believes a better
presentation of Munich's bid to host the 2018 Winter Olympics
could help persuade Germany's Green Party to support the city's
efforts to win the race, the bid leader said on Friday.
The Greens, in opposition but rising in the opinion polls as
the country's third biggest political force, last week rejected
Munich's bid in a narrow party vote, calling the plan "anything
but ecologically exemplary".
"It was a very close race, it was done at the end of a very
long day and we think it was not the right presentation there,"
Witt told Reuters in Belgrade at the sidelines of a European
Olympic committees meeting.
"We have to develop the concept with a lot of distinguished
Green Party members who are supporting the bid and I have the
feeling that in a few months from now, hopefully, they will get
behind us when they see the essence of our bid," the double
Olympic figure skating gold medallist said.
Competing with France's Annecy and South Korea's
Pyeongchang, Munich has been given the German government's full
backing in its efforts to become the first city to host the
Summer and Winter Games.
Speaking about the 1972 Munich Summer Olympics, when members
of the Israeli team were taken hostage and killed by the Black
September guerrilla group, Witt said:
"Those games will be remembered for that tragedy but until
it happened, everyone saw it as a great and well-organised
Olympics with the right spirit and many IOC members who were
there still have wonderful memories of Munich '72."
"We should look more at the 2006 (soccer) World Cup in
Germany, the entire world still talks about it and how great and
festive the atmosphere was with stadiums full of people from all
over the world having fun."
Although fairly confident the plethora of winter sports
facilities in Bavaria gives Munich an edge over its rivals, Witt
said she expected a tight race in next July's International
Olympic Committee vote in Durban, South Africa.
"There are three candidates who all have great bids to offer
and it's a long journey with seven more months to go, so you can
never sit back and relax."
"We have to try to be forceful until the end, it's never a
flat road and we have to do our best to get around the bumps and
improve our bid all the time," she said.