By Duncan Mackay
British Sports Internet Writer of the Year

June 12 - Vancouver showed that for an Olympics and Paralympics to be successful the needs of athletes need to be at the top of the agenda, Munich 2018 chief executive Willy Bogner (pictured) has claimed.

It was one of the lessons he learnt from the Vancouver 2010 Debrief, which has been taking place this week in Sochi, the host city of the 2014 Olympcs and Paralympics.

Bogner attended the event along with managing director Bernhard Schwank and with representatives from Annecy and Pyeongchang, Munich's rivals for the 2018 Games.

Bogner said: "The Debrief has really helped to clarify where we are on the right track and where we can develop.

"I think there are three key lessons we need to take away with us.

"Firstly, VANOC’s Own The Podium programme has proved that putting athletes’ needs at the top of our agenda is of paramount importance to ensure high-performance and a legacy of sporting excellence.

"Secondly, we have seen how crucial it is to have a close-knit, united team with clear leadership and a clear vision.

"And finally, the constant in all these successful bids, Vancouver, London, Sochi and Rio, has been the will and passion to be awarded and then to deliver the Games. 

"Of course, these are all aspects of our bid we have been taking very seriously throughout the process, but this week has given us a fresh perspective on how to maximise our unique assets."

Bogner also claimed that Munich could already learn lessons from Sochi's preparations for the Games.

He said: "We have enormous admiration for the way in which the Sochi 2014 Organising Committee is starting to execute its ambitious plans, and there are certainly a number of key lessons we can learn from them.

"Not least of these is their strong commitment to leaving a positive environmental and social legacy, which is something we feel extremely strongly about.

"We will learn all the best practice we can from our time here in Sochi, so that we can ensure an Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in Munich in 2018 would augment our own natural environmental treasures and leave a positive legacy for Munich, Bavaria and Germany."

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