PARIS — German city Munich was praised for the environmental aspect of its bid to host the 2018 Winter Games when the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Evaluation Commission's report was published on Tuesday.
Munich is bidding to become the first city to host both a Summer and Winter Olympics, having hosted the 1972 Summer Games which was overshadowed by the Palestinian terror attack which left 11 Israeli athletes and a German police officer dead.
They must beat rivals Pyeongchang of Korea — who are bidding for a third successive time having finished runner-up twice before — and the French Alpine town of Annecy in the vote by IOC members in the South African city of Durban on July 6.
The praise from the Evaluation Commisssion — headed by long-time IOC member Gunilla Lindberg — over their environmental strategy will be pleasing for the bid committee as there have been concerns raised by the Green Party.
A group of farmers and landowners in Garmisch-Partenkirchen have refused permission for their land to be used for the Winter Olympics, despite giving it up for other events and opponents of the bid had said it was environmentally unsound.
However, the nightmare scenario of Garmisch — who have been earmarked for hosting the alpine and nordic ski events — actually withdrawing altogether from the bid was averted on Sunday when a referendum saw almost 60 percent support to stay in the bid.
The Commission — the only group of IOC members allowed to visits the candidates since reforms were introduced following the Salt Lake City votes-for-bribes scandal — was unequivocal in its appraisal of the bid's environmental proposals.
"The Munich 2018 bid has a strong and innovative sustainability strategy with the extensive use of existing and temporary facilities and venue sites which would result in a very low level of permanent environmental impact.
"There is a thorough strategy for a carbon-neutral Games and a comprehensive plan for delivering environmentally sustainable Games."
The Commission also were satisfied with the security plan to counter any potential terrorism threat - an especially emotive issue given Munich's previous experience.
"Munich can be regarded as a safe and low risk city," they remarked.
"The quality of the security agencies is high and proposals made to secure the Games should ensure a safe environment."
The Commission noted that in terms of finance there were some concerns over costs in certain areas, but were reassured that the money was there to cover any such rises.
"The OCOG (Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games) budget is well supported and demonstrates a thorough and comprehensive effort," the commission commented.
"The Commission felt that while some costs such as Games overlay, technology and other operational requirements are likely to be subject to risk and may increase, these risks would be compensated by the conservative approach to revenue budgeting."