Aussie, Aussie, Aussie – the Olympic Games are headed back to the southern hemisphere, returning to Australia for a third time in 2032.
Brisbane received 72 yes votes and five no votes from IOC members, needing only a simple majority on the second and final day of the 138th IOC Session in Tokyo.
The winning vote sending the Olympic and Paralympic Games to the scenic Australian Coast was preceded by a comprehensive presentation by a five-member delegation representing the Queensland capital. Australian NOC president John Coates led the group.
Queensland region premier Annastacia Palaszczuk noted that Brisbane’s candidacy was backed by three levels of government, more than 80-percent of the venues already exist and additional infrastructure agreements, independent of the bid, are secured. Perhaps most importantly, Australians love their sports, she said.
“We’re a sports-loving state and this will give us our golden age in Queensland, so we’re very excited, we’re over the moon, we have great pride in our people and tonight is a great victory for every Queenslander,” Palaszczuk said, at a post-election news conference as Brisbane’s triumph came at 6:30 p.m. Australian time.
Brisbane mayor Adrian Schrinner was passionate and convincing throughout the committee’s presentation to the IOC, and highly emotional about what he described as a “game-changer”.
“I wish you could see the smile on my face right now – you’ll have to believe me it’s there,” Schrinner said. “There is no greater moment for a city then to have the opportunity to host the world’s biggest sporting event.
“For a mid-sized city liked Brisbane, with big, bold ambitions, today is the proudest moment you could imagine,” he said. “This is a game-changer for the Olympic Movement, and a game-changer for our city, and for the surrounding region and our state.”
Australian six-time Olympic rower and IOC member James Tomkins added: “I’m incredibly proud, incredibly excited about what this is going to do for the youth of Australia and the youth of the world to come to such a beautiful part of the world, southeast Queensland.
“I’m over the moon,” he said.
IOC president Thomas Bach was asked by an Australian reporter what was the tipping point in Brisbane’s overwhelming approval by the IOC membership, a vote that most considered a formality.
“It’s their passionate love for sport, which the Aussies really demonstrate and you could feel this during their presentation and I could feel it a couple of years ago on my visit to Queensland,” Bach said.
“Second, it is a project which is absolutely in line with the IOC reforms, it’s a project of sustainable Games in every respect.”
Brisbane is the first Summer Olympic host city to be elected under the IOC’s new process of targeted dialogue, which was approved in June 2019, to eliminate expensive bidding campaigns in electing Olympic cities.
Norwegian IOC member Kristin Kloster Aasen had led the reformed process as the chair of the Future Host Commission for the Games of the Olympiad.
“Under the new program and new approach, we can have an open and constructive dialogue with the future potential hosts which allows for them to create a project that aligns with their own development strategies, which is the case with Brisbane,” she said.
Schrinner added that Brisbane 2032 is a win-win for both parties.
“We have a new model which downsizes the budget for hosting the Olympics, but supersizes the benefits and this is exciting not just for Brisbane, but for other cities that hope in the future to host the Olympics and Paralympics,” said the Brisbane mayor.
Brisbane mayor to IOC: “We will not let you down”
Brisbane previously bid for the 1992 Summer Games, but ultimately lost to Barcelona. Coates relocated to Brisbane in 1985 and served as the managing director for that campaign.
“That bid laid the foundation for Melbourne and Sydney’s bid and ultimately the success in Sydney, but Brisbane has matured amazingly since then and now with our new guidelines, encompassing the Sunshine and Gold Coast,” Coates said.
“This is a very significant day for the Australian Olympic Committee – not many National Olympic Committees have the opportunity to host the Summer Olympic Games three times.
Melbourne hosted the 1956 Summer Games and Sydney followed in 2000.
“This is a very well-thought out masterplan and Brisbane will do a great job,” Coates added.
Earlier during Brisbane’s presentation, Australian prime minister Scott Morrison offered his full support and stated his plea for a return of the Games to Australia, addressing the IOC membership live from Canberra.
A giant screen at the IOC session venue showed Morrison clenching his fist and smiling broadly moments after Bach confirmed that Brisbane had won the bid.
Events at the 2032 Games will be divided into three areas – Brisbane, the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast. The Games will be serviced by three airports and the main Olympic village will be located just six kilometers from the city center.
Brisbane mayor Schrinner expressed his excitement for Australia’s next Olympic chapter, coming in a mid-sized city that was referred as the “rising star in the southern hemisphere”.
“I’m so excited and so thankful to the IOC for putting their faith in Brisbane – we will not let you down. In 2032, we will put on a show, we will provide the stage and the athletes will provide the magic to Brisbane, Queensland,” Schrinner said.
“That is a stage based upon our amazing sunshine, our rivers, beaches, mountains, forests, bush-land and wildlife, but most importantly our people.”
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