The German Olympic Sports Confederation has diplomatically packaged its criticism of the Beijing Winter Olympics.

At the final press conference in Yanqing on Saturday, DOSB President Thomas Weikert spoke of “functional games” that “were missing a lot”.

Weikert mentioned the conditions of the staging in the pandemic and the lack of "spectators, families and the German house".

At the same time, the DOSB announced that bobsledder Thorsten Margis, who pushed Francesco Friedrich to another Olympic victory in the two-man bobsleigh, will lead the German team as flag bearer at the closing ceremony on Sunday in Beijing.

This is intended to honor both Margis' contribution to the success and the outstanding record of the German runners.

Christopher Becker

sports editor.

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Weikert said the Beijing Games were the third Winter Games after Sochi 2014 and Pyeongchang 2018 that were not built on a winter sports tradition.

He is therefore happy that the Winter Games will take place again in Milan and Cortina d'Ampezzo in 2026, which "we love and are looking forward to".

In addition, there had been "collateral damage" in China in terms of the human rights situation, and the traces could not be overlooked.

"Human rights cannot be dispensed with and cannot be put into perspective," said Weikert.

He also spoke to Thomas Bach, President of the International Olympic Committee, about the human rights situation in China.

When asked which topics had been addressed, Weikert said: "The human rights situation has not improved as a result of the Winter Games." Bach also knows that.

As a concrete topic of conversation, Weikert named his conversation with the tennis player Peng Shuai.

DOSB draws a positive sporting balance

At the same time, Weikert announced that he wanted to start a German Olympic bid "slowly and sensibly" for the period after 2030, in a long-term dialogue with the IOC.

Weikert interpreted the talks between the DOSB leadership and the IOC as an "international comeback".

This can be interpreted, without Weikert having said it, in such a way that the relationship with the IOC is intact again after an open break between Bach and the former DOSB President Alfons Hörmann.

"You were gone, now you're back," was the message he saw, Weikert said.

With regard to an Olympic bid, it was "neither decided nor finally discussed" whether it should be a run-up to the summer or winter games.

In this context, Weikert said that an application against the will of the population was pointless.

The DOSB board member responsible for competitive sport, Dirk Schimmelpfennig, chief de mission of the German team in Beijing, drew a positive sporting balance of the performance.

The German team met the expectations of finishing in a corridor of results from Pyeongchang (31 medals) and Sochi (19).

On Saturday afternoon Chinese time, German athletes had won 22 medals in Beijing, Yanqing and Zhangjiakou, but all by athletes from just two associations.

The Bobsleigh and Sledging Association is responsible for 55 percent and the German Ski Association for 45 percent of German medals.

Snowboarders, ice hockey players and figure skaters also won medals in Pyeongchang.

"That's also part of the overall picture," said Schimmelpfennig.

For him, Norway, the most successful nation at these Winter Games as well, is the “measure of all things”.

Schimmelpfennig named the competence of the Norwegian team of coaches and the consistent entry into competitive youth sport as indicators of the quality of Norwegian winter sports.

In light of the scandal surrounding 15-year-old Russian figure skater Kamila Valiyeva and the success patterns of figure skating coach Eteri Tutberidze's training program, Schimmelpfennig said this development had to be "very, very critically questioned".

It is right to discuss lower age limits for international competitions in individual sports.

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