May 7 - Germany’s Federal Minister of the Interior Dr Thomas de Maizière (pictured) is one of four high profile individuals newly elected by the Board of Trustees of the Munich 2018 Bid Committee to host the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, it has been announced.

The Board, which is chaired by double Olympic figure skating champion Katarina Witt, reflects the diversity of German society, officials claimed.

Former Lord Mayor of Munich Hans-Jochen Vogel; Bishop of the Bavarian Evangelical Church, Dr Johannes Friedrich; and Head of Division for Inter-religious and Inter-cultural Cooperation in the Turkish-Islamic Union, Bekir Alboga are the other new members.

They join a 26-strong Board which also includes Franz Beckenbauer, President of Bayern Munich; Vice Chancellor Guido Westerwelle; President of the Confederation of European Business, Jürgen Thumann; and world famous violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter.

Willy Bogner, the chief executive of Munich 2018, said: "The success of our bid relies on the support of every branch of German society.

"The admission of these new members to the Munich 2018 Board of Trustees is a great example of national support and highlights the high level of approval the bid enjoys across society."

De Mazière underlined the importance of the bid for the German nation.

He said: "The Federal Government considers this a national task and, as the minister responsible for sport, I fully support this bid.

"Munich’s bid to host the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games is an outstanding opportunity to reaffirm Germany’s reputation as the world’s most experienced and friendly host. It would be an honour to stage this unique event and welcome athletes and visitors from around the world."

Thomas Bach, chairman of the General Assembly of the Munich 2018 Bid Committee sees the Board of Trustees as highly symbolic.

He said: "Representatives from politics, sport, art, culture and business are demonstrating that the bid has support from every stratum of German society."

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