Brisbane Pledges “Cost-Neutral, Climate-Positive, Safe” Olympic Games As IOC Confirms 2032 Hosting Rights

2021-07-21 Reading Time: 2 minutes
A fine outlook: Brisbane will host the 2032 Olympic Games - image courtesy of Visit Brisbane Tourist Office and @emporiumhotels South Bank

The Olympic Games is heading back Down Under for a third time after Brisbane was confirmed as the 2032 host after a vote of International Olympic Committee (IOC) member nations in Tokyo on the eve of an Opening Ceremony a year later than planned because of the COVID pandemic.

Confirmation was the main line, Brisbane having already been pencilled in by IOC leaders after discussions with city authorities and in the wake of Paris, in 2024, and Los Angeles, in 2028, came to be hosts via a similar process that bypasses the old-style multiple bidding of yore.

There has been criticism of the lack of an actual bidding competition, a claim denied by the IOC. Wherever the truth rests, the moment the flag went up for Brisbane, the Olympic website launched its Brisbane 2032 page. Speedy work.

Fireworks lit up Brisbane’s night sky as the Queensland premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, and the Australian delegation – who had travelled to Tokyo to make their pitch in person – signed contracts and posed for happy snaps.

“This is a very proud day for Australia, make no mistake,” the Australian Olympic Committee president and IOC vice-president John Coates said, adding:

“I thank the IOC members for their confidence. Brisbane 2032 is genuinely committed to serving the ideals of the Olympic movement. The Olympic Games in Brisbane will be in the most diligent, grateful and enthusiastic hands. I make this commitment to the athletes of the world – we will provide you with an unforgettable experience.”

John Coates

Palaszczuk led a bid team that included Richard Colbeck, the federal sports minister, and Adrian Schrinner, the Brisbane lord mayor. They faced questions on sustainability. .

Schrinner noted that sustainable fuel sources would be used for the Games and large plantations would be established to help offset emissions generated by the sports event. He added: “Right from the beginning we wanted this to be a sustainable Games. We wanted to commit and … we would be the first host city to contractually agree to a climate-positive Games.”

Palaszczuk told the meeting Queensland would offer the Olympic movement “a safe pair of hands”. “We pledge to create a successful model under your new host city strategy by showcasing a cost-neutral, climate-positive, safe … and enthralling experience for the whole world,” she said.

Ian Thorpe, 11 years after his towering golden evening at Sydney 2000 – by Patrick B. Kraemer

Australia first hosted the Olympics in Melbourne in 1956, then followed up with Sydney 2000, where Ian Thorpe delivered a perfect start to the host nation’s campaign in the pool. The 2032 games are expected to cost around $5bn, the plan included deals to have the bill covered by revenues from tickets, partnerships and sponsorships and broadcast rights. As Tokyo has discovered, financial pledges and actual outcomes can sometimes diverge by a factor of billions, too, when it comes to hosting the Olympics.

Brisbane will also host the Paralympics, the second time Australia has done so – the first Paralympic Games were held in Rome in 1960.

Here is a Twitter thread that highlights some of the issues surround the Brisbane process and procedure:

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