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Exclusive Comments: Brisbane Named Preferred Bid Candidate For 2032 Olympic Games

T
he International Olympic Committee (IOC) has confirmed South-East Queensland as the preferred bid candidate for the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games following a recommendation from the Future Host Summer Commission.

This means the Queensland Government, the Federal Government and the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) now enter exclusive negotiations with the IOC regarding the 2032 Games and what Brisbane and South-East Queensland needs to do to officially prepare for the event, without being named the official host at this stage.

In response to the news from the IOC, Olympic gold medallist and Queensland Olympic Committee president, Natalie Cook, told Ministry of Sport the Brisbane bid is “far ahead” of its competitors, and the announcement confirms this even further.

“There’s whispers around an announcement during the Tokyo 2020 Games, if they desire to make that deadline, the Queensland Government, Australian Federal Government and the AOC need to get their skates on to complete the appropriate paperwork as soon as possible,” Cook told Ministry of Sport, discussing when the IOC would likely announce the official host for the 2032 Games.

“There’s no official timeline published in terms of what needs to happen but all of the behind the scenes work all started after the announcement yesterday.

“Ultimately, a day will come in an IOC session where IOC president, Thomas Bach, will call a press conference, stand up and declare Brisbane the official host of the 2032 Olympics.

“We’re in a one-horse race at the moment, they are only talking to us so provided we can make everybody happy, then we should be good to go.

“As an athlete, my vision for our next generation of athletes is that there’s 100% confidence in Brisbane’s ability to produce an Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2032.

“I’m sure Qatar, Germany and a few of the other countries with aspirations of hosting the Games in 2032 woke up in shock that Brisbane had entered targeted dialogue and the IOC also confirmed Queensland was good to go.

“I have goose-bumps thinking about the hometown Australian athletes competing in Brisbane, knowing what it was like to stand on top of the podium in a home Games in Sydney.

“It makes me excited for our next generation of athletes,” she said.

AOC head of commercial, Jess Hurford, told Ministry of Sport the Games would bring a significant boost to Australian sport and any brand that hoped to align with the Games.

“Securing the 2032 Olympic Games will supercharge sport in Australia and along with it the commercial brands who want to align with our athletes and the Games coming to our shores for the third time,” Hurford told Ministry of Sport.

Australian Sports Commission (ASC) chair, Josephine Sukkar, said a 2032 South-East Queensland Olympic and Paralympic Games can be a “beautiful beacon on the hill for all Australians”.

“For the young boys and girls now enjoying their sport and dreaming of representing their country, this is an announcement that makes the possibility of a home Games more accessible and real,” Sukkar said.

“A home Games would be a driver for increased sport participation too.

“A home Games can also show the wonderful power of sport to influence lives and communities far beyond the competitive arena.

“I was lucky enough to be at the 2000 Sydney Olympics for Cathy Freeman’s gold medal race and for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies.

“But my personal highlight are the memories of my late father, a volunteer doctor at the 2000 Games, who was able to enjoy that experience of a lifetime with thousands of other volunteers.

“I still have my father’s volunteer uniform from the Sydney Olympics and treasure it,” she said.

The ASC, which comprises the Australian Institute of Sport and Sport Australia, welcomed the recommendation from the IOC, saying it is an important step towards finalising Brisbane’s “very advanced Games concept”.

Sport Australia CEO, Rob Dalton, said COVID-19 has impacted sport participation and volunteering, but the next decade is now shaping up as one of the most inspiring periods for Australian sport.

“Things have been tough, but we’ve said all along that sport will play a prominent role in lifting the nation’s energy and spirits again, and there are few events that can match the inspiration of a home Olympic and Paralympic Games,” Dalton said.

“Next year Australia will host the FIBA Women’s World Cup of Basketball, then in 2023, the FIFA Women’s World Cup.

“These all present wonderful opportunities for Australian sport to thrive over the next decade and beyond,” he said.