Brisbane wakes as Olympics 2032 city after IOC’s landslide vote of confidence By Jessica Stewart
There are still 4,019 days to go, but south-east Queenslanders are waking up to an Olympic buzz this morning, after Brisbane was announced as the host for the 2032 Games.
- Brisbane is the smallest city by population to host the Games since 1952
- The IOC president says the country has a real love and passion for sport
- Olympians say the announcement is a real coup for the future generation of athletes
After six years of planning by Queensland authorities, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) delegates backed the river city to host the Games, with 72 votes to five.
Not bad for a city of just 2.56 million people.
IOC president Thomas Bach said it was the Australians’ passion and love for sport that really brought the bid over the edge.
“Second, it is a project which is absolutely in line with the IOC reforms — it’s a project of a sustainable Games in every respect.”
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said earning the sporting spectacle was something the city and state aspired to, but never thought possible.
“But under the Olympics ‘New Norm’ we have over 80 per cent of our venues, we have cooperation with all three levels of government and we have agreements to do the infrastructure that is already needed for our city, which will complement the Games,” the Premier said.
“We’re a sports-loving state and this will give us, I believe our golden age, in Queensland, so we’re very excited, we’re over the moon and we’re absolutely honoured.”
The Premier told ABC Radio Brisbane this morning she was still sporting the “biggest smile you could possibly imagine”.
“We have the world’s biggest event and it’s coming to our town,” she said.
“I hope everyone is smiling.
“Everyone should have the day off.”
BRISBANE 2032 ELECTED AS HOST OF THE GAMES OF THE XXXV OLYMPIAD!
— IOC MEDIA (@iocmedia) July 21, 2021
“If they’re out in the pool this morning or doing little athletics this weekend, they know in 2032 they can be competing in an Olympic Games in their own country and that is just so exciting.”
Australian Olympic Committee CEO Matt Carroll said it had been working on the bid with the Queensland state government, the Council of Mayors (SEQ) and the Commonwealth for years.
“When you think about getting all those levels of government to work together to achieve an aim, [I] probably think the Olympic Games is about the only event that could do it, and it has been done, and it’s a great tribute to them,” Mr Carroll said.
He said the Games presented a host of opportunities of the south-east region.
“It’s an opportunity for the infrastructure … because a lot of is going to be built long before the Games, and there’s the opportunity for sport in Queensland, and in Brisbane. There’s the opportunity to build the community,” he said.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk made the bid in Tokyo on Wednesday night.(Getty Images: Toru Hanai)
If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again
Last night’s successful bid was not the first time Brisbane attempted to secure the world’s greatest sporting showpiece.
Sallyanne Atkinson was Lord Mayor when Brisbane last made a bid.(Supplied: Wikimedia Commons)
Back in 1986, then lord mayor Sallyanne Atkinson put the city forward to host the 1992 Games.
The dream was dashed by Barcelona, with Brisbane coming in third in the vote to earn the hosting rights.
Last night, the former lord mayor joined celebrations at South Bank as Mr Bach read out “the Games of the 35th Olympiad are awarded to Brisbane, Australia”.
Thankfully, she didn’t have to.
‘You little beauty’
Natalie Cook, famously known for her gold medal-winning performance in beach volleyball at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, was emotional upon hearing the announcement.
“You little beauty!” said Cook, who is now president of Queensland’s Olympic Council.
“Whether you laugh, cry … joy … it really feels like winning an Olympic Gold medal — where there’s an emotional cocktail going on, there’s a bit of relief, there was the excitement, there was nervousness.
“There are so many people that have worked on this process.”
Australia’s chef de mission of the 2020 and 2022 Paralympic Teams, Kate McLoughlin, said Wednesday’s announcement will have lasting effects for young people with disabilities.
“How amazing that a generation of young athletes with disabilities can now aspire to become a Paralympian at home [and] that Australians of all abilities can have the opportunity to experience the power of the Paralympics movement on home soil,” she said.
Four-time Olympian and hockey star Mark Knowles carried the flag for Australia at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.
The 2018 event was the closest the Olympic gold-medallist ever got to competing at one of the highest levels in his home state.
“I think it means there’s a real vision, sometimes you know that the Olympics are there every four years, but to have a home Games is something that athletes will only ever have once in their career and so many athletes that we know never get a chance.”
Fireworks erupt over Brisbane after the city is announced as the 2032 Olympic Games host.(
ABC News: Brittney Kleyn)