Olympia Poker

Olympia Poker

Fair play may be the central tenet of any sport – but not when it comes to selecting host cities for the Olympic Games.

Renowned investigative journalist Jens Weinreich and director Albert Knechtel have teamed up to shed light on what it really takes to become an Olympic city. Based on Weinreich’s years of painstaking research, this TV documentary reveals the true rules that apply when the International Olympic Committee awards the right to host the Olympic Games.

Weinreich and Knechtel take the selection process for the 2018 Winter Olympics as their starting point for an odyssey through the complications of the bidding process. Three contestants are in the race for 2018: Pyeongchang (South Korea), Annecy (France), and Munich, where hearts are set on becoming the first city ever to host both Summer and Winter Games. Yet logistics expertise, experience and technical know-how are one thing – winning the bid quite another. In previous competitions, the cities presenting the best Olympic bid books – dossiers outlining the technical minutiae of an applicant’s bid – have almost never managed to attract a majority of IOC member votes in the final selection session.

Why is that so? That is the question at the heart of this documentary. OLYMPIA POKER reveals the global dimension of the race between applicant cities to win the favour of the IOC. An Olympic bid is always a global scramble for that tiny yet decisive advantage. Determining just what this advantage could be is anything but clear-cut.

The documentary reveals a selection process governed not by objectivity and fair play but by political pressure, power games, corruption and cabals within the IOC and the International Sports Federations.

OLYMPIA POKER gives an exclusive, meticulously researched insight into what goes on behind the scenes when a host city for the Olympics is chosen – and shows that the process is grossly at odds with the Olympic spirit.

Image gallery

An Albert Knechtel & Jens Weinreich Film, produced by Saxonia Entertainment for WDR/ARD