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Olympics 2032: In the box seat

Posted: 10am 25 Feb 2021

The Moreton Bay Region is perfectly positioned to host events and visitors if Brisbane gets the nod to host the 2032 Olympic Games. The bid moved a step closer to winning the race, with the International Olympic Committee’s executive board naming it the preferred candidate overnight.

The IOC’s Future Host Summer Commission has designated Brisbane the preferred candidate city and the IOC’s executive board has unanimously endorsed this decision.

The Brisbane bid committee will now enter targeted discussions with the IOC.

While it’s not a done deal, the decision puts the Brisbane bid in the box seat and ahead of other bids.

The news was delivered by IOC president Thomas Bach during a press conference in Switzerland.

"We have unanimously after a very intense discussion approved this recommendation," Mr Bach said.

"The commission, based on this decision, will start more detailed discussions with the Brisbane 2032 committee and the Australian Olympic Committee about their potential to host the Olympic Games 2032."

Targeted dialogue will now begin, followed by final negotiations, then a vote by the IOC which is likely within the next year.

Brisbane and South East Queensland’s experience in successfully hosting major sporting events, including the 2018 Commonwealth Games, was key factor in the decision. As was existing facilities and planned transport infrastructure.

Great news for state, region

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says the news puts Queensland in the box seat and every level of government was committed to making it happen.

“I’ll be working with the mayors and Federal Government to ensure we get funding to make this a reality,” she says.

She says South East Queensland already has 85 per cent of the venues needed to host the Games.

“We don’t have to build huge stadiums that won’t be used in the future,” she says.

“The 2032 Queensland Olympics would support our economic recovery by stimulating investment and creating thousands of jobs for our state.

“We haven’t crossed the finish line yet - we’ve just moved a little further ahead in the race.”

IOC Vice-President and Australia Olympic Committee President John Coates says the Brisbane bid will now have to work through negotiations and formal paperwork and he hopes to conclude these requirements by the end of April, early May.

“On that basis, we could then go to a vote in Tokyo,” he says.

Tokyo is due to host the Games this year, followed by Paris in 2024 and Los Angeles in 2028.

Waiting to see what it means for region

Mayor Peter Flannery says it is an exciting announcement, but he won’t be celebrating until he knows what it means for Moreton Bay Region.

“There’s so much opportunity on the horizon as we look towards a COVID-free future so this announcement couldn’t come at a better time,” he says.

“I think what makes the Brisbane bid so compelling is that all mayors and all levels of government have been united in this cause and want to see the games happen here in 2032.

“For me the big question is exactly what a Games can deliver for Moreton Bay Region, and what it might mean for local infrastructure investment by all levels of government.

“I think Moreton Bay Region is the logical choice for a range of events, and we’re also perfectly positioned as a pre-games training destination. We’ll continue working hand-in-glove with the Council of Mayors (SEQ) and State Government.

“Above all else I see the games as an opportunity to accelerate infrastructure investment, boost job creation, and attract tourism and investment to our region.

“We’ve all united around the need for rapid rail in SEQ, of course we want to ensure that it will stop in the Moreton Bay Region. Following today’s announcement, I hope we hear more concrete commitments from the Federal and State Governments around what infrastructure investment they’ll be prioritising in our region.

“The Olympics is the pinnacle of sport and employs tens of thousands of people in construction, logistics, promotion, tourism, athletics and much more. So, I agree with Brisbane Lord Mayor Schrinner when he says: ‘Today is not the time however to get over-excited, there is still plenty of work to be done’.”

Broad vision is bid’s strength

Moreton Bay Region Industry and Tourism Chairman Shane Newcombe says the Brisbane Bid is a strong one because it goes beyond the boundaries of Brisbane city and will use facilities and sporting hubs across South East Queensland.

“Our region is perfectly positioned to not only host events, but also visitors who will flock to this part of the world to compete, support athletes and watch the world’s best athletes in action,” Mr Newcombe says.

“We’re keen to work with Moreton Bay Regional Council, other councils in South East Queensland and the State Government to deliver a South East Queensland experience to remember for everyone connected with the Games.

“We’re also excited at the possibility to hosting teams and competitions, using the vast array of world-class facilities already here, and our unique accommodation and tourism offering. Bring it on!”

Unique opportunity for athletes

Three-time Olympian and former Murrumba Downs resident Jessicah Schipper says if Brisbane secured an Olympic Games, it would inspire a new generation of swimmers.

She competed in the 2004, 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games as well as at five World Championships, two Commonwealth Games – achieving seven world records and 30 international medals (20 gold, five silver and five bronze).

The former Undurba State School and Pine Rivers State High School student says competing at home, in front of a home crowd, is something special that definitely lifts performance.

“I remember the two times I got to compete at home … it was amazing and an opportunity for my family to come as well. It’s awesome,” she says.

“It really does give athletes a lift … the atmosphere, you know it’s for you.

“Brisbane and Queensland is a fantastic place for sport in general. Everything you need in the sporting arena – facilities, atmosphere, the climate – it’s here. (And) we breed good athletes here.”

Schipper has been working for Swimming Queensland since she retired in 2012 and runs coaching clinics at clubs around Queensland.

She’s certain the bid, if successful, will inspire the next generation.

“To be able to compete at home … everything about it makes it more compelling … that it’s going to be here,” she says.

“I’m very excited at the possibility that it could be here. We haven’t had it here in Australia for ages and to have it in Brisbane would be amazing.”

Oh, and she’d jump at the chance to be a spectator.

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