Soccer, soccer and more soccer. Germany is crazy about soccer. These days pubs and parks will be filled with people coming together to watch their team play in the Euro Cup, which is currently being held in France. Since the German Mannschaft won the World Championship in 2014, the hopes are high. Fans and contestants expect the team to reach at least the semi-finals, or even play the finals in Paris.
Soccer is what really brings the German people together in times when the country seems divided. When Germany hosted the World Cup in 2006 for the first time after the fall of the Berlin Wall, people remembered it as the “Fairy-Tale Summer”. It really seemed to have an extraordinary vibe and showed how sports can unite. And although Germany could use some more unification – there are many disputes in the political sphere – this year most Germans are happy that their neighbor country France is hosting the Games. However, in light of recent terrorist attacks, security has intensified and become a costly affair for such a big event.
But this summer the focus will not only lie on soccer – as it usually does – but the Olympic Games in Rio will bring fresh winds into the sports world, as well. There are high hopes for the Rowing Team as well as throwers and putters to win gold medals. Many athletes find themselves in a though situation: the expectations for the number of medals is extremely high. With so many countries and well trained athletes competing at Olympia, it seems almost impossible not to turn to doping – although the DOSB (German Olympic Committee) has promised to tighten restrictions and tests concerning pharmaceutical pushers.
Besides the falsification through medical aid, there are more concerns regarding the Olympic Games. Critics argue that the Olympic Games are not timely anymore and the IOC has become a corrupt organization. Especially the president of the IOC, German Sepp Blatter has been accused of greediness and corruption, especially regarding the location of the games.
Many German cities have ruled out ever applying to host the Games, but Hamburg has recently broken the mold and applied to host in 2024; a decision that will certainly cause some controversy in the years to come. However, that might depend on how this year’s Olympics will affect Brasil and whether there is a political and economic benefit to hosting them.
by Pauline F.