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Praise for Salzburg bid sounds familiar



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The team was also concerned that accommodation hadn’t been secured yet to meet the requirement of 20,000 rooms for the "Olympic family."

To date 13,000 rooms have been secured. But Salzburg bid spokesman Michael Schuen told the Pique this week that work only began on getting rooms in the last two weeks. There are 145,000 rooms in the Olympic region and Schuen believes there should be no problem in securing the rest.

The evaluation team also raised concerns about the cramped nature of the finish area at the snowboarding venue in St. Johann and the 90-metre jump at Ramsau is too far from the nearest Olympic village at Amadé.

There were also some reservations voiced by evaluators about Salzburg’s plans to build a stadium for the opening and closing ceremonies between two bridges which cross the Salzach River.

But according to media reports the Salzburg bid was quick to answer most of the concerns and pose solutions where possible.

For example, the commission after visiting the media centre said it was too small at 53,300 square metres. But the Salzburg bid quickly pointed out that according to plans the centre was actually 89,500 square metres as it has multiple floors.

The Salzburg bid also changed the locations of the Hellbrunn cross-country sprint venue after questions were raised about separating it from the main event venue at Amadé.

In fact putting the sprint back with the rest of the events is cheaper and easier for the Salzburg bid. They had suggested the event be run in front of the castle as part of the celebration if the city.

Salzburg scored high in many areas including culture.

"From a cultural standpoint you actually have a very strong bid – nobody can beat you there," Heiberg told reporters in Salzburg last Sunday.

"You would be second to nobody."

Salzburg is, of course, world famous for the festival it hosts there each summer.

"We will have a festival for the Games and the summer festival will be a role model for that," said Schuen.

"This was one part that I think (the team) was quite impressed with. The president of the Salzburg summer festival presented it.

"They all felt comfortable and experienced the Austrian hospitality and we succeeded in showing them what that was, and that for us, that was at least the most important thing."

Heiberg also praised the Salzburg’s bid venues, especially Kitzbuehel, known for the famed Streif downhill track, which will host the men’s downhill and related events.