The winner is Brisbane as Games come to Australia for third time

The Olympic Games are coming to Australian shores for the third time, with Brisbane being officially named as host of the Olympic and Paralympic Games for 2032 after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Session in Tokyo on Wednesday.

After a final presentation from Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) president John Coates and Brisbane lord mayor Adrian Schrinner, the IOC delegates voted overwhelmingly to award the Games to Queensland after it had been recommended by the IOC’s Future Hosts Commission.

And the winner is … Brisbane.Credit:Getty

The news was greeted with delight by live sites in Brisbane although it was hardly a surprising result. The matter has been a fait accompli for some time and even before the vote, an embargoed press release leaked on social media more than an hour before the official coronation.

In Tokyo, Palaszczuk and the Australian contingent leapt to their feet in delight before they made their way onto the stage to sign the host contract agreement.

“The athletes will provide the magic and we will provide the stage,” Schrinner said as he concluded his speech to the delegates. “Brisbane provides a different model, scaled to be more affordable and sustainable. The Brisbane 2032 model downsizes the budget but supersizes the Olympic experience.”

A video set the scene for the vote as Australian Olympic luminaries like Nova Peris spoke of what a Brisbane Games could deliver. It was all set to Mitch Tambo’s indigenous language version of John Farnham’s You’re The Voice, along with flyovers of the city’s skyline and famous neighbouring coastlines.

Queenslanders celebrate in Brisbane after the announcement.Credit:Getty

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison featured on a video from Canberra, reaffirming the commitment from all levels of the government to funding and hosting the Games. Morrison had already met IOC president Thomas Bach on numerous occasions to privately give his support.

“It’s a historic day not just for Brisbane and Queensland, but for the entire country,” Morrison said. “Only global cities can secure the Olympic Games – so this is fitting recognition for Brisbane’s standing across our region and the world.

“It also marks an important leap forward for Australia as we look toward major events that lock in economic growth and social benefits that will echo for years to come.

“We know the impact on Sydney more than two decades ago was transformative. We can now expect a repeat for Brisbane and communities across Queensland.”

Coates, who had been integral in the new bidding process that helped secure hosting rights but abstained from the vote, said it was important for the Olympic movement to award the Games to mid-sized cities like Brisbane in an effort to “future proof” the concept.

He said Brisbane would be the “Together Games”, seizing on the new Olympic motto that has been released this week in Tokyo. The renewed version adds together to the famous “Faster, Higher, Stronger” mantra: Citius, Altius, Fortius – Communis.

“This is a very proud day for Australia, make no mistake. I thank the IOC members for their confidence. Brisbane 2032 is genuinely committed to serving the ideals of the Olympic movement,” Coates said.

“The Olympic Games in Brisbane will be in the most diligent, grateful and enthusiastic hands. And I make this commitment to the athletes of the world – we will provide you with an unforgettable experience.”

The Brisbane bid team told delegates more than 80 per cent of venues were either built or would be temporary sites for the Games, with venues set around a trio of Olympic Villages in central Brisbane, the Gold and Sunshine coasts.

New rail and road corridors are already planned and in some cases under construction, while a revamp of dated cricket ground The Gabba and a new indoor arena in Brisbane’s centre are key planks of the pitch.

The Games have been reported to cost around $5 billion, although blowouts are usual. But Brisbane organisers have committed to the ideals of the new IOC bidding rules which are set to transform the Games into a more streamlined, cost-effective proposition for potential hosts.

An organising committee is due to be set up by the end of 2022, with key appointments set to be made in what will be one of the most sought-after series of jobs in Australian sport.

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