Ski legend Willy Bogner has resigned from his position as CEO of Munich 2018, the committee vying to host the 2018 Winter Olympics. The move comes on the advice of Bogner’s doctor after he was diagnosed with an undisclosed intestinal illness.
Bogner will be replaced by Bernhard Schwank as CEO. German ice-skating star Katarina Witt, Chair of the Munich 2018 Bid Committee, will now become the face of the Olympic bid.
“My condition is unfortunately more serious than previously thought,” said Bogner in an official statement. “My doctors have strongly recommended against any further long-distance travel. I hope people understand that my health must come first.”
Bogner will still be involved with the Munich bid, but to a lesser extent as a member of the Select Supervisory Board.
“Naturally, I am a passionate advocate of our bid and I will continue to support it in any way I can. We have an outstanding opportunity, and it remains my dream to bring the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games to my hometown in 2018.”
Munich 2018 has already seen its share of setbacks as Bavarian farmers refused to open their land as potential venue sites during the proposed alpine ski events.
The International Olympic Committee will award the 2018 Winter Olympics on July 6, 2011 in Durban, South Africa. Munich faces competition from South Korean candidate Pyeongchang (runner-up to Salt Lake City in 2002), and Annecy, France; who have been working to improve their bid’s chances on the advice of the IOC.
Bogner, who competed in both FIS and Olympic alpine ski events, moved on from ski racing to a successful fashion and film career. The ski star began shooting skiing sequences for films such as those in the James Bond series. The Bond experience will be prominently featured during Bogner’s starring role in the upcoming Ski Channel original film, “The Story,” premiering this fall.