Leipzig's bid gets national backing

21st November 2003, Comments 0 comments

21 November 2003 , HAMBURG - Former German Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher and other politicians and business managers were welcomed with open arms as Leipzig's bid for the 2012 Olympics finally turned into an all-German effort to win the Games. "The personnel issue is very good and the whole package is very presentable," said Bernd Rauch, a member of the bid committee's supervisory board. "If things went on for another six months like this it could have ended in a catastrophe," he added. Manfred v

21 November 2003

HAMBURG - Former German Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher and other politicians and business managers were welcomed with open arms as Leipzig's bid for the 2012 Olympics finally turned into an all-German effort to win the Games.

"The personnel issue is very good and the whole package is very presentable," said Bernd Rauch, a member of the bid committee's supervisory board.

"If things went on for another six months like this it could have ended in a catastrophe," he added.

Manfred von Richthofen, the head of Germany's umbrella sports organisation DSB, agreed.

"It was necessary that the whole concept became a national affair," said von Richthofen, who urged all parties involved to "roll up their sleeves" for the bid.

The statements came the day after the supervisory board ended weeks of controversy around the bid at a meeting near Frankfurt.

Key issues were the appointments of Genscher and Lothar Spaeth, a former state president of the federal state of Baden-Wuerttemberg onto the board of trustees and supervisory board, respectively.

A former business manager, Peter Zuehlsdorff, was appointed chairman of the bid's management.

The heads of electronic goods company Siemens and carmaker Porsche, Heinrich von Pierer and Wendelin Wedeking, also agreed to seats on the board of trustees.

The supervisory board brought light into dubious dealings of several former members of the bid committee, most notably the ex- managing director Dirk Thaerichem, who had to quit last month.

Leipzig mayor Wolfgang Tiefensee was cleared of wrongdoing in the supervisory board reports, but officials said it was nonetheless good to have the likes of Genscher positioned alongside him.

"He has been hit hard in recent weeks. But the mayor of a bid city is always an important figure in the bid. Wolfgang Tiefensee is a strong man," said supervisory board head Klaus Steinbach, who is also German Olympic Committee president.

Interior minister Otto Schily also voiced his satisfaction after the Wednesday meeting.

"I believe we have managed a new start, bringing with it high hopes, through the new personnel structure, personnel additions and a new organising structure," said Schily.

Schily added that the new drive must be kept up, through a summit at German chancellor Gerhard Schroeder with all parties involved and the return of the official International Olympic Committee (IOC) questionnaire by January 15.

"It would be important that it (the summit) takes place before January 15, there should be no letdown in the new dynamics," said Schily.

It remains unclear whether the internal problems have dented Leipzig's chances to win the games in the IOC election in July 2005.

But a united and strong bid will be required to stand a chance against the prominent fellow-bidders: New York, London, Paris, Moscow, Madrid, Istanbul, Havana and Rio de Janeiro.



DPA
Subject: German news

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