The anticipation of the Olympic Winter Games in Beijing is limited for former ski jumping star Sven Hannawald.
“These are the first Olympic Games, which I’m not really looking forward to, even as an expert,” said the 47-year-old in an interview with the “Mittelbayerische Zeitung”. Hannawald will commentate on the games from February 4th to 20th for ARD from Germany.
“All the trappings destroy the games in my opinion, because it’s all about what kind of arrangement you get from down there,” he criticized.
Hannawald is of the opinion that the International Olympic Committee must “rethink things” especially after these games have been awarded. “I’m glad that the summer games will be in Paris and then the winter games in Milan,” said Hannawald.
The Chinese government has been criticized for its treatment of the Muslim Uyghurs in Xinjiang Province and the Tibetans, among other things, but also for its suppression of the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong and threats against Taiwan.
“The IOC has to get away from the fact that the financial aspect is in the foreground and back to what makes the Olympics: a sports festival with nations from all over the world, where the family concept is lived,” said Hannawald. The 24th Olympic Winter Games are scheduled to open in Beijing on Friday.