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Olympia 2024 Hamburg, Studie 2, 2014 © gmp-Architekten, Hamburg; Gärnter & Christ, Hamburg

Hamburg Says "No" to Olympics

Head-to-head race of supporters and opponents. Ultimately, the majority voted against Hamburg's Olympic bid. Nikolas Hill: "The result is bitter, but we have to accept it"

Hamburg’s bid to host the 2024 Olympics and Paralympic Games ended after public votes on Sunday, with 51.6 per cent of the voters saying “no” to the bid, while 48.4 per cent voted in favour of the games. In Hamburg’s partner city Kiel, almost 66 per cent of local supported the bid. With the negative end of the referendum, Hamburg will close all activities related to the games. Hamburg’s First Mayor Olaf Scholz said: “Hamburg will not bid for the Olympic and Paralympic Games 2024. The senate and I would have preferred a different decision, but it is a clear one.” The remaining candidate cities for the 2024 Games are now Los Angeles, Paris, Rome and Budapest. The IOC will announce its decision in spring 2017. Germany has not hosted the Olympics since the 1972 Winter Games in Munich.

Setting New Targets

“This result is a major setback for the city’s orientation towards the futureand requires careful analysis”, commented Hans-Jörg Schmidt-Trenz, CEO of the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce, on the result of the Olympic referendum.” Never before, politics, sports, and business have been co-operating that closely to realise the chance of the century. But in the past few weeks, many external circumstances have been working against us. I can only hope that this is a snapshot. A bright future needs the courage to invest. We must now set new goals. “

High Voter Participation

A total of 1.3 million Hamburg citizens and 198,000 Kiel residents aged 16 and older were invited to vote on the 2024 Olympic bid of both cities. In Hamburg, 50.1 per cent of citizens participated in the vote. In Kiel, the referendum only attracted 31.7 per cent of voters. Voting by absentee ballot had been possible since late October.

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