The BMW Group is supporting the bid put together by the Bavarian state capital Munich to host the 2018 Olympic Winter Games. "Munich and the BMW Group are inextricably linked. Sport lies at the heart of our identity and at the heart of the BMW brand. We want to play our part in
bringing together sportsmen and women from around the world to compete fairly against each other here in our home city in 2018. As the global automotive leader in the area of sustainability, we are promoting and supporting the idea of a sustainable Olympic Winter Games in Munich in 2018. If the Olympic Games come to our city, we want to be part of them," said BMW Group Chairman Dr Norbert Reithofer at a press conference at BMW Welt in Munich on Thursday. The bid will also benefit from the company's extensive experience in the field of mobility concepts.
The BMW Group will be contributing three-five million euros to the 2009-2011 application phase. This includes non-cash contributions such as the provision of vehicles. The Prime Minister of the State of Bavaria, Horst Seehofer, said: "I'm delighted that BMW, a flagship business of Munich and Bavaria, is backing Munich's bid for the 2018 Olympic Winter Games. I would like to thank BMW Chairman Dr Reithofer personally for the company's substantial contribution towards the bid both financially and in other forms."
Should Munich - together with the sporting facilities in Garmisch-Partenkirchen and the Berchtesgadener Land region - get the vote from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in July 2011, the scene would be set for another chapter in Olympic history. Never before has a city hosted both the Olympic Summer Games and Winter Games. The BMW Group also played its part in the 20th Summer Games in Munich in 1972, supplying an electrically-powered BMW 1602 for the marathon and walking events.
The Mayor of Munich, Christian Ude, said: "If our vision for the 2018 Games in Munich becomes a reality, BMW could see the Olympic Games open outside its front gates, so to speak, for the second time. The city would like to thank BMW expressly for lending its support to its home city even in these economically difficult times and for contributing as a sponsor to our shared long-term success."
Two-times Olympic speed skating champion Anni Friesinger voiced her support: "I wish Munich's bid for the 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games every success. The support of a renowned company like BMW will increase the bid's chances of success for sure. The Olympics are a very special experience for any sportsman or woman and the prospect of the Games taking place in your own country is incredibly exciting. I'm very pleased to be able to support the bid through my personal involvement."