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Munich decides to bid for 2022 Winter Olympics

The Olympic rings are seen in front of the airport of Sochi, the host city for the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, April 22, 2013. REUTERS/Alexa
The Olympic rings are seen in front of the airport of Sochi, the host city for the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, April 22, 2013. REUTERS/Alexa

BERLIN (Reuters) - Bavarian capital Munich, which hosted the 1972 Summer Olympics, will make a bid to stage the Winter Games half a century later in 2022, the German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB) said on Monday.

Munich, which failed to land the 2018 Olympics after being comfortably beaten by South Korea's Pyeongchang, will have to wait for a November 10 referendum before formally announcing a candidacy with the International Olympic Committee by the November 14 deadline.

Should Munich be elected in 2015 it would be the first city to have been awarded Summer and Winter Olympics.

"The DOSB is moving ahead with its plans for a bid for the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games 2022," it said in a statement.

"The next step is a referendum in the communities of Munich and Garmisch-Partenkirchen as well as in the counties of Berchtesgadener Land and Traunstein on November 10, four days before the bid has to be announced to the IOC."

The previous Munich bid had faced several obstacles from Garmisch residents as well as German environmental groups and the Greens political party over the impact to the Alpine community as well as land disputes.

DOSB officials said their new plans would reduce the burden on Garmisch while also spreading the Games to a three-cluster complex after moving the biathlon and cross-country skiing events from Garmisch to Ruhpolding.

Apart from Kazakhstan's Almaty, there have not been any other official candidacies yet but more are expected with Poland, Ukraine, Spain, China and Norway among those considering a bid. Oslo residents voted in favor of a bid earlier this month.

Newly-elected International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach was among the 2018 bid leaders for Munich and his influence could prove vital though it is unclear how willing fellow IOC members would be to opt for Germany again after electing him earlier this month.

(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; Editing by Alison Wildey)

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