A surprise bobsled win for Germany at the Olympics, Berlin’s prospect for hosting the games, and Nobel laureate Paul Krugman’s visit to Berlin

 

German athletes are having a great year in Pyeongchang: Germany is currently tied for 1st with Norway in gold and is 2nd in total medals. But Germany hadn’t won a medal in the bobsled event since 2006 until this past Wednesday, when Mariama Jamanka and brakewoman Lisa Buckwitz – aka the “Berlin Bob” – finished the race in first place by a 0.07 second margin.

The victory for these two Berliners may remind some that Berlin itself is considering a bid to host the Olympic games, at the earliest in 2032. Mayor Michael Müller is all for the proposal as a boost to the city’s economy, but Handelsblatt Global Editor-in-Chief Andreas Kluth doesn’t think it’s a good idea. Munich and Hamburg have already rejected the idea in citizen referendums, and Kluth isn’t sure that Berlin is ready. “I’d rather hide our problems and stay a ‘cool’ city,” he says, citing Berlin’s well-publicized problems in building its new airport and fixing its troubled school system.

This week Kluth also met with American economist Paul Krugman. Kluth was impressed by “the total lack of pomposity” from the Nobel Prize winner, and surprised by how positive he was: while a big critic of German economic policy, Krugman “took it easy on Germany” in his talk, and seemed to be focusing his critical energy closer to home these days.

Photo by Samantha Beddoes