[clari.news.hot.east_europe] Berlin seeking Olympics

clarinews@clarinet.com (01/16/90)

	WEST BERLIN (UPI) -- Holding the Olympics in East and West Berlin
would be the ``crowning of the peace process'' in Europe and the
greatest triumph of the Olympic ideals in our times, West Berlin Mayor
Walter Momper said Tuesday.
	``When the Olympic flame will be lit in Berlin, it will be because
hardly any other city is better suited than Berlin to promote the
peace-seeking idea of Olympic Games,'' Momper said in an interview with
the East German newspaper Deutsches Sportecho.
	A regional committee is assessing the feasibility of the proposal
that the divided city make a united bid to host the games in 2000 or
	``Already now the international contest has begun where we have to
prove that both parts of Berlin not only are a strong candidate for the
International Olympic Committee, but the very best candidate,'' Momper
	``Olympic Games in both parts of Berlin together would be the
crowning of the peace-seeking process in Europe and at the same time the
greatest triumph of the Olympic idea in our times,'' he said.
	Since the breaching of the Berlin Wall Nov. 9, several athletic
events have been jointly hosted by East and West Berlin, symbolizing the
new spirit that has pervaded the city.
	Momper and East Berlin Mayor Erhard Krack recently said it was the
wish of the population of Berlin to host the games in 2000 or 2004 and
called the entire city of Berlin the ``Olympic city of the future.''
	Authorities in other West German cities that have applied to host
the Olympics said they would withdraw their bids if the entire city of
Berlin agreed to host the Games.
	Long before the post-war division of the city, Berlin hosted the
1936 Olympic Games -- a spectacular event widely seen as a massive
propaganda arena for Adolf Hitler's Nazi regime.
	Hitler walked out before the final ceremony -- a move attributed to
the Nazi leader's annoyance at the success of black American sprinter
Jesse Owens, who took four gold medals.