United German Olympics Team Is Possible for 1992

From Deutsche Presse-Agentur

A unified German team for the Olympics is "inevitable" and technically possible by the 1992 games, West German National Olympic Committee President Willi Daume said here today.

His remarks followed a similar statement during the weekend by Jochen Gruenwald, head of the German Gymnastic and Sport Federation, East Germany's main sports association.

"There will certainly be a united German team by the 1996 Olympics," said Gruenwald, recently appointed the federation's interim chairman amid East Germany's political upheaval.

In his remarks today, Daume said whether a unified team is formed as early as the 1992 Barcelona and Albertville games depends mainly on the will of top athletes in the two Germanys.

The main administrative step would have to be a fusing of the East German federation and its West German equivalent, the German Sport Federation, plus a merger of the two national Olympic committees.

Once joined, these would have to be internationally recognized. Nothing would then stand in the way of a new era of German athletes competing together for the first time since World War II.

Daume said all that is needed for a joint National Olympic Committee to be recognized is "a single phone call to the International Olympic Committee."

However, he said, a more complex process could be expected in relations between the governing bodies of different sports in the two Germanys.

Soccer, for instance, would probably not see a common governing federation until after the 1992 European championship, for which teams from East and West Germany already have played against each other in qualifying matches.

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