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SBD Global/July 18, 2014/People and Pop Culture

Hangin' With ... German Olympic Sports Association President Alfons Hörmann



Hörmann says DOSB has not yet decided if it will bid for 2024 or 2028 Summer Games.
ALFONS HÖRMANN is the president of the German Olympic Sports Association (DOSB). The 53-year-old was elected president on a one-year interim basis on Dec. 7. He replaced THOMAS BACH, who was elected IOC president two months earlier, at the helm of the organization. Hörmann, who has also been the president of the German Ski Federation (DSV) since '05, will stand for re-election at the DOSB's next regularly scheduled election in December. Hörmann talked to SBD Global about bringing the Olympic Games back to Germany for the first time since the 1972 Munich Games, changes the IOC needs to make and the biggest challenges facing the DOSB.

On future German Olympic bids ...
Alfons Hörmann: First of all we have not yet decided if we are eyeing a bid for the 2024 or the 2028 Summer Games. We are committed to bringing back Olympic Games to Germany but the whens and wheres are undefined. Berlin and Hamburg have signaled strong interest in hosting the Games. That is why we have started a process to find out more about the circumstances in both cities. At the end of the day we have to decide on the year and on the city. One thing though is for sure: A bid for the Olympic Games needs strong public support. Recently nationwide polls showed 76 percent of the people were in favor of a bid. This gives us great confidence. But 2024 would be a challenge because of the short time left to get all the preparations done. Let’s wait and see. This fall we will know more. The cities have got time until August 31 to answer our questionnaire that will be the basis for the next steps and decisions.

On what changes the IOC needs to make ...
Hörmann: We are convinced that the agenda process of the IOC will be successful. I know [IOC President] Thomas Bach as a very focused and committed leader. He has made clear that changes are needed and the IOC Session in Sochi proved that the IOC members completely agree on that fact. I am sure the working groups will present valuable results which are going to be discussed by the members at the IOC Session in December in Monte Carlo. The DOSB and three other NOCs have passed on their ideas to the IOC in a joint paper.

On the fight against doping ...
Hörmann: The fight against doping is a never ending story. No matter what tool we develop, doping is not going to be eliminated. But we have to do everything possible to protect the clean athletes. We already have an anti-doping law in Germany but it is not called this way. We are now talking about creating a specific anti-doping law and to take some more measures that strengthen our fight against doping. I believe internationally Germany is a good example for an efficient fight against doping. But we need a harmonization of the measures that the National Anti-Doping Agencies, the World Anti-Doping Agency and the national and international federations take.

On the biggest challenges facing the DOSB ...
Hörmann: Right now we are discussing a reform of the DOSB constitution. This sounds like a dry topic and yes, it is. But it is also a very important one. We have to redraw the lines between the paid board of directors and the volunteer executive board. An organization like the DOSB with 98 member organizations, 91,000 sports clubs and 28 million members has to give itself a modern and professional structure. Eight years after the NOC of Germany and the German Sports Confederation merged to DOSB in May 2006 it is time for the next step in our development.

On balancing the interests of the DOSB's member organizations ...
Hörmann: Satisfying everyone in every single question is by far impossible. This can’t be our requirement. We are a solidary group which has to focus on sports. At the end of the day it shouldn’t matter if somebody is active in soccer, skiing or handball. What matters is to literally move people. We are successfully doing this. The number of DOSB memberships is still increasing, against the demographic trend. But of course it isn’t easy to balance all the different interests, it is a major challenge indeed.

On his love of sports ...
Hörmann: I enjoy watching and practicing sports. I have the big advantage now to be able to see more live sports than ever before in my life. And I have the big disadvantage that there is not enough time to get exercise myself. Here is the next challenge: to find the right balance for myself. As DOSB president I am the president of 62 sports federations and I am not in favor of just one, as you can imagine.
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