June 1 - A national poll in Germany has chosen Munich as the country's sports capital, which officials involved in the city's bid to host the 2018 Winter Olympics and Paralympics hope is a good omen wtih just over a month until the International Olympic Committee (IOC) meets to choose the the host city.
The nationwide poll, conducted by market research institute Promit, saw Munich gain 38 per cent of the vote, a long way ahead of the second-placed city, the capital Berlin, with 14.7 per cent.
The Bavarian capital is probably best known internationally for Bayern Munich, Germany's most successful football club with 22 Bundesliga titles and four European Cup victories.
But it also hosted the 1972 Summer Olympics and is a regular venue for a number of top-class events.
"That buzzing, full-stadium atmosphere is such an important part of a successful Winter Games," said Katarina Witt, the chair of Munich 2018.
"It's what the athletes have been dreaming of since they were young, and what they deserve after years of preparation.
"It's what fans travel all over the world to experience.
"And it's what makes the television spectacle such an irresistible draw for audiences and sponsors.
"Munich 2018 doesn't just promise full stadia; we guarantee full stadia, filled with knowledgeable, ardent fans who live and breathe winter sports."
Bernhard Schwank, the chief executive of Munich 2018, claimed it underlined the city's message that if the IOC picks Munich ahead of rivals Annecy and Pyeongchang at its Session in Durban on July 6 then they will be able to guarantee a successful Games, both in terms of atmosphere and financially.
"We're very pleased at this result because it cements one of Munich 2018's unique strengths: in Bavaria, sport is in our DNA," he said.
"The FIS Alpine World Ski Championships was an excellent example, with 130,000 spectators celebrating the world's finest athletes in a warm and friendly atmosphere.
"It was a great experience for the fans, but it also meant it was a huge sporting and commercial success.
"The athletes all said they felt inspired by the atmosphere, and the event made a €5 million (£4.4 million/$7.2 million) surplus."
Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]