Munich 2018 vowed to build on the German Olympic Sports Confederation's (DOSB) 50-year programme of NOC outreach initiatives in Africa at a powerful presentation from a top-level team at the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA) Extraordinary General Assembly in Lomé, Togo yesterday.
Munich 2018's high-profile delegation, comprising Bid Committee Chair, Katarina Witt, DOSB President, Thomas Bach, and Bid Committee CEO, Bernhard Schwank, were joined on stage by two guest presenters who have first hand experience of the DOSB's pioneering NOC outreach programme.
Achim Ecke is one of Germany's finest international coaches; his friend and partner Lenwi Karba is one of Togo's most promising rising stars in managing and coaching athletics.
Their impassioned address to the ANOCA delegates gave an insight into some of the DOSB's remarkable impact - both on a personal level, and on African sport as a whole.
Speaking in French, Ecke described his work in planning, organising and running training camps all over Africa.
In Togo, he worked with Karba to train 22 Togolese athletics coaches, helping 90% to achieve the IAAF diploma level 2. Ecke said:
"This is just one small example of all the things that we have accomplished together over the last 50 years. It shows all the strength and potential that friendship through sport can have. On a personal level, it allowed me to forge a deep friendship with Lenwi which I know will bind us forever.'
Karba described his long personal affinity with German sport. A DOSB athletics expert helped him to apply for a one-year DOSB training course in Mainz. From there, he went on to study sports science and coaching in Cologne. He said:
"Through the programmes offered by Munich 2018, the hugely successful training camps concept, which we saw for the 2009 IAAF World Athletics Championships in Berlin, will be expanded, and there will be more study scholarships for coaches, athletes, administrators and sports scientists.'
Karba's experience is far from unique. In a powerful closing speech, Thomas Bach called upon the delegates to support Munich 2018 and, in so doing, guarantee more life changing sporting friendships for the next generation:
"I am deeply convinced that Munich 2018 will deliver great benefits to each of your NOCs. Let us renew our historic sports and cultural partnership through Munich 2018.
"Let us build an even stronger future together, for the benefit of millions of young Africans across the next generations.
"With your support, we are looking forward to welcoming you to our Festival of Friendship in 2018: a genuine and true celebration of the magic of the Olympic Winter Games, in an atmosphere that we will all cherish together and never, ever forget.'
Katarina Witt emphasised Munich's uniquely cosmopolitan offering to the Olympic Movement:
"Munich is an open city of great diversity, with residents from 181 countries who have helped to create our popular culture. At the Haus der Kunst, for instance, one of our greatest art museums, the new director is Okwui Enwezor from Nigeria. Like so many others, he will welcome you in your own language and your own customs.
"Munich is a city of festivals that attracts millions of guests every year-last year, a record 11 million. Our famous Oktoberfest draws more than six million visitors in two weeks. All of them have a memorable time. And you will too."
Bernhard Schwank focused on the opportunity Munich 2018 offers to increase resources throughout the Olympic family:
"Munich 2018 offers a stronger financial foundation for the future. As you may know, German companies are funding approximately 50% of the sponsorship revenues for the seven winter sports federations, all without the honour of hosting the Games. Imagine what a Winter Games in Munich could do!
"Revenues for winter sport would dramatically increase-and give the Olympic Movement, sponsors and broadcasters what they really want.
"This would greatly benefit the entire Olympic family. The Winter Games produces about 40% of the revenues for the whole Olympic Movement.
"Due to the distribution to IFs, NOCs and Olympic Solidarity, every country, every continent and every sport - be it winter or summer - would benefit."
With Munich 2018's compelling pledge to help deliver the power of Olympism to new markets, the Bid Committee is building its momentum in the last week before the final presentation at the 123rd IOC Session in Durban.
The decision on who will host the 2018 Games will be announced at 5pm on July 6th in Durban, South Africa.