Germany's capital Berlin is ready to bid to host the 2036 Summer Olympics. But the plan is attracting plenty of criticism and some awkward questions.
Whether it be in 2036 or 2040, Berlin is ready to host the summer Olympics. That was the message after the city's Governing Mayor, Kai Wegner, and Sports Senator, Iris Spranger, signed a document to signal their intentions. "We want the Games to be not only for, but above all with, the people of Berlin," said Wegner.
If Berlin wins the bid for 2036, the Olympics would take place exactly 100 years after the 1936 Games staged by the National Socialist, or Nazi, party. This has drawn criticism from some, who consider it disrespectful. "It gives the strange impression of a 100-year celebration," said historian Oliver Hilmes in German newspaper, Tagesspiegel. According to Hilmes, a lot of thought would need to be given to putting the history in proper context.
The opposition in the Berlin Senate criticized the project for other reasons. The Green party pointed to the sometimes precarious condition of Berlin's sports facilities and the urgent need for renovation of sports grounds, gyms and swimming pools. "Before we invest billions in a major sporting event, we need to concentrate on getting our sports facilities and clubs in shape," said Klara Schedlich, spokesperson for sports policy for the party.