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Short but Sweet: Zängl Reveals NOlympia Thoughts 

The news that Munich’s 2022 Winter Olympics bid has failed after a successful campaign from the NOlympia group has sparked uproar in the city. Munich Now’s Sports Editor spoke to one of the leading members of the group, Dr. Wolfgang Zängl, about why this unexpected victory came about.

Dr. Wolfgang Zängl, is a founder of the environmental research department (1977), and an author of books and environmental publications. He is also involved in indoor football and climbing. He’s a part of the NOlympia campaign because he’s against landscape change and the destruction that is caused by winter Olympic games, the impacts of which he photographed in 1990 in Albertville.

Jonathan Harding (JH): You must be happy with the result?

Dr. Wolfgang Zängl (WZ): We are. It was a hard struggle against politics, economy and sports.

JH: How do you think this decision reflects on new IOC (International Olympic Committee) leader and fellow German Thomas Bach

WZ: There is no reflection. Oslo will bid and that’s it. There money there for the IOC.

JH: Why did you come together as a group and decide that no Olympics was the right idea? Can you explain a bit more about this 18 reasons campaign?

WZ: We founded Nolympia in January 2010. We all come from different places - environmental groups, the green party and sport interested groups who are not fond of the IOC. Our 18 reason campaign is quite simply the 18 reasons we feel that there shouldn’t be a Winter Olympics here.

JH: What kind of environmental damage was Munich expected to have?

WZ: One example: 2,000 trees were to be cut down just to create space for the Olympic village.

JH: What has the response been like from the public?

WZ: We tried really hard to spread the message through a variety of media sources. It wasn’t easy at the beginning, that’s for sure.

JH: What are you hoping to achieve in the long term? A change of awareness?

WZ: The discussion about the IOC, DOSB (German Olympic Sports Confederation), and their contracts and the damage at sporting venues. It’s not our matter anymore but we got the ball rolling.

JH: Is there a chance of the Winter Olympics ever coming to Germany again?

WZ: No.

JH: Do you see any positives to a Winter Olympics?

WZ: No, not at the moment. Vancouver had 86 disciplines, Sotschi 98. How many will there be in 2022? 105? 110?

JH: Is there a fear of the 1972 Summer Olympics repeating itself in a Winter Olympics?

WZ: I don’t know. Summer games are different…

JH: What happens now? What is the next step for the NOlympia group?

WZ: Some of us, especially the members of the green party, will continue to put questions about high-performance sport to the relevant people.

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