26 April 1966: Munich’s big day!
It was 26 April 1966 when Munich was given the green light at the 65th meeting of the IOC in Rome to hold the XX Summer Olympic Games in 1972. It was one of the most significant days in the Munich’s history - and a decision that six months earlier would have been labelled purely wishful thinking, since the then NOC boss Willi Daume had only spoken to Mayor Jochen Vogel about his plans for a Munich bid at the end of October 1965.
During the first round, Munich missed out (21 votes) on an absolute majority, with Montreal and Madrid each earning 16 votes. Detroit was eliminated with just six backers. The second round sealed the decision, with 31 votes for Munich, 15 for Montreal and 13 for Madrid. It was a triumph for Vogel and Daume, and a stroke of luck for the city of Munich. Everything in the urban development plan from 1963 that had been designed to be put in place over three decades now had to be completed in just six years: the underground and tram networks, road building and of course the construction of the Olympic Park. In six years, Munich evolved from a sleepy town of a million inhabitants to a European metropolis, one of the most important locations for commerce and tourism. It has the charm of a liberal and open global city with a passion that still abounds today.
The foundations for the Olympic village were laid in 1969 on the Oberwiesenfeld. The foundations for present-day Munich 50 years ago on 26 April 1966.
To mark the 50th “Awarding Anniversary”, the Visitor Centre of Olympiapark München GmbH is offering two special Architec-Tours inspired by the “development from the Oberwiesenfeld to the Olympic Park” on 30 April and 1 May. The two-hour tour starts at 1 p.m., and participants should meet at the Visitor Centre in the Olympic Ice Sports Centre. Tickets cost € 17 for adults and € 13 for schoolchildren and students. Register at www.touren-olympiapark.de, email@example.com or by calling: +49 (0)89-3067-2414. The tour includes not only in-depth information, but also a film about Frei Otto and the Munich Olympic Stadium, explanations of the original models by the Olympic architects and of course a guided tour through the Olympic sports facilities.
To mark the day of the anniversary, 26 April, the Olympic Tower will also be lit up as an “outstanding” symbol of the Munich Olympic Park.