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Olympics: Australian PM, IOC chief discuss Brisbane bid

Credit/Source:  Reuters

NOVEMBER 17, 2020 6.17pm


TOKYO (Reuters) - Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison met with International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach in Tokyo on Tuesday to discuss next year’s postponed Olympics in the Japanese capital and Brisbane’s bid to host the 2032 Games.

Morrison and Bach are both in Tokyo this week and used the opportunity to meet, alongside IOC member and Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) President John Coates.

In a video posted on the AOC Twitter page, Coates said Morrison had expressed his “full support” for Brisbane’s 2032 bid during the meeting.

“Prime Minister Morrison and President Thomas Bach had a very good meeting this morning,” said Coates, who is also chair of the IOC’s Tokyo 2020 Coordination Commission.

“The Prime Minister reiterated the full support of the Australian Government for Queensland and Brisbane’s candidature for the 2032 Olympics Games. The full support.”

Bach has previously praised the early planning within Australia’s 2032 bid, which would be centred on Queensland state’s capital city, Brisbane.

Bach and Morrison also discussed holding sporting events during the novel coronavirus pandemic.

During meetings with Tokyo Games’ organisers on Monday, Bach expressed confidence that the Olympics can be held safely next year [M1L1N2I201B].

Australia, alongside Canada, pulled out of coming to the Tokyo Games before the postponement decision was made in March, because of safety fears related to COVID-19.

Reporting by Jack Tarrant; Editing by Stephen Coates

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PM hopeful Queensland will restart campaign to host the 2032 Summer Games

Brisbane Times

By Olivia Caisley and Anthony Galloway

November 17, 2020 — 3.27pm


Scott Morrison says he is hopeful Queensland will restart its campaign to host the 2032 Summer Games as he reiterated his support for the Australian bid when meeting with International Olympic officials in Japan.

The Prime Minister also told business leaders Australia shared Japan's ambition of achieving net-zero emissions but he was focused on "how we get there and how that can be achieved" before he committed to those targets.

Mr Morrison met with International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach and his Australian counterpart John Coates in Tokyo on Tuesday, where they discussed hosting the Olympics in a post-COVID world.

Behind closed doors, the Olympics supremos highlighted their willingness to engage with the Palaszczuk government over its bid, which was put on ice in May due to the coronavirus pandemic.

It is understood Mr Morrison said he was hopeful Queensland would soon restart its campaign but flagged it had been a busy time for the state with its recent election.


His comments come as Health Minister Greg Hunt said Australian athletes would "very likely" head to Japan next year for the Tokyo Games, with organisers moving to secure possible vaccines for participants. The Tokyo Games were originally due to start in July, but were postponed for a year due to the pandemic.

Mr Hunt said the federal government was supportive of the Games going ahead in a "COVID-safe way".

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  • 2 weeks later...
Article below mentions that the 2032 host isn't expected to be announced until at least 2022.

Smarting China attempts to pinch ‘Brisbane Olympics’

Julian LindenNovember 29, 2020 - 9:19PMThe Daily Telegraph0 comments
4-5 minutes

China is preparing an audacious last-minute bid to steal the 2032 Olympics and Paralympics right from under Australia’s noses while Brisbane’s bid is momentarily on hold because of the global pandemic.

Australia’s sporting leaders have always feared that China would retaliate over Mack Horton’s role in the worldwide protests against China’s banned favourite swimmer Sun Yang but the brazen attempt to pinch the Olympic hosting rights has caught everyone by surprise.

Olympic insiders are stunned that China would suddenly throw their hat in the ring to host the 2032 Olympics, knowing full well that Southeast Queensland is the clear frontrunner and has only paused in its planning out of respect to officials dealing with the global health crisis.

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While a formal decision on the host is not expected until at least 2022, it’s no secret that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has been working closely with Brisbane’s team as part of their new way for deciding hosts.

Designed to end the ugly and expensive bidding wars of the past, the IOC has implemented a more transparent system whereby it enters into continuous dialogue with candidate cities.

It’s well understood those talks have only stalled to allow the IOC to deal with the more pressing issue of rescheduling Tokyo in 2021 and aren’t in anyway a suggestion Brisbane’s bid is not proceeding.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison met IOC leaders in Japan just last week and exclusively told The Daily Telegraph this month the government was right behind the Southeast Queensland bid.

“The way the Olympic bids work now has changed, it’s not the beauty parade it used to be,” Morrison said.

“There’s the opportunity to get inside and be a preferred bidder and work through the detailed things in a preferred status so that’s why we’re so keen to get off the mark there as quickly as we could.

“I’ve already met with the head of the IOC, I’ve already met with others in Japan when I was up there last year and I think that’s put us in a good place.”

That’s why China’s late bid comes as such a major surprise.

According to a government report in the China Daily, the Sichuan province capital Chengdu and the nearby megacity of Chongqing are teaming up to launch a joint bid for 2032.

The report said: “As part of a national strategy to develop the Chengdu-Chongqing economic circle, the two cities will bid for the Olympics together to try to host a Games with strong urban and cultural characteristics of the two cities, and to enhance the international influence of the two cities.”

The Chinese Olympic Committee has not yet confirmed whether the bid will go ahead though it is well known that China is aggressively chasing major international sports events.

Beaten by Sydney to host the 2000 Olympics, smog-filled Beijing was awarded the Summer Games for 2008 and the Winter Olympics for 2022 as well as a stack of other major events and China’s appetite is still growing.

But while China’s massive population and increasing financial muscle make it an irresistible choice for sporting bodies wanting to cash in, human rights groups have been openly critical of selecting countries accused of human rights abuses to stage sports events.



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Officials Douse Flames Under Proposed Chinese 2032 Olympic Bid

Posted on Nov 30, 2020 9:33 AM by Robert Livingstone in Featured, Future Summer Bids

Excitement surrounding a surprise announcement last week from Chinese city Chengdu that sport officials were about to launch a 2032 Olympic bid jointly with neighboring Chongqing has quickly fizzled out.

Wei Jizhong, the former secretary general of the Chinese Olympic Committee (COC), downplayed the emerging proposal explaining that the event would be poorly timed and the named locations were too far apart.

He told South China Morning Post  “even though it’s only 300 kilometers apart, it is still too far away from each other for them to be joint hosts.”

And with Beijing set to host the 2022 Winter Olympics positioning the capital to be the only city to host both seasonal editions of the Games, Wei said it was too soon for the event to return to China.

He explained “for me, we have to give a chance to other cities around the world.”

“We already have the Winter Olympic Games in Beijing and according to IOC [International Olympic Committee] policy, they want to reduce costs.  This allows other cities around the world to make realistic bids.”

The whirlwind of speculation began after an economic development report published on Chengdu’s official website stated “as part of a national strategy to develop the Chengdu-Chongqing economic circle, the two cities will bid for the Olympics together to try to host a Games with strong urban and cultural characteristics of the two cities, and to enhance the international influence of the two cities.”

This proclamation caught Chongqing officials off-guard with sport authority employee’s reportedly unaware of such a bid.  Sichuan Province capital Chengdu has been a regional rival to mega-city Chongqing after the latter broke off from the province in 1997 to create its own provincial-level authority.  Residents of both cities quickly took to social media to argue the prospect of a joint bid.

Wei, who is an honorary life president of the Olympic Council of Asia, said that the proposal has evolved without necessary consultation with the COC.

“It’s just an idea in someone’s head,” Wei told South China Morning Post.

“Anyone can say anything but it’s only an idea. The Chinese Olympic Committee has not said anything and I’m not taking it seriously for now.”

Officials in Shanghai had floated the idea of an Olympic bid from the Chinese city in 2018, but a project has yet to materialize.

The race to host the 2032 Games has been on hold since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic and the delay of the Tokyo 2020 Games, and this has allowed more time for interested regions to jostle for position in the running.  Those already in the fray, including the perceived early frontrunner Brisbane in Australia, might be relieved that China’s bid has been cooled.

Also in the growing field are bids from Jakarta in Indonesia, Doha in Qatar, a regional project in Germany, a joint Unified Korea bid from Seoul and Pyongyang, and Mumbai in India.

Istanbul in Turkey has also expressed interest.

The IOC had been fast-tracking bids and it looked likely that a host city for 2032 could be elected in 2021.  But due to COVID-19 all bids, and the IOC process, have stalled and years could be added to the race that has traditionally ended seven years ahead of the Games themselves – in this case, 2025.


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Queensland Olympics bid rebooted with high-level talks

Queensland’s proposed bid to host the 2032 Olympics is back on track after a COVID-enforced hiatus.

Dan Knowles Exclusive
December 7, 2020 - 12:00AM
The Courier-Mail

Queensland’s race to host the 2032 Olympics is back on track with high-level talks between Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and AOC boss John Coates being held today to reboot the bid.

The bid proposal was put on the backburner in March as the world grappled with COVID, but the Premier and Mr Coates – president of the Australian Olympic Com­mittee and vice-president of the International Olympic Committee – will meet this morning to fire up the bid to seize on Queensland’s early advantage.

Mr Coates chairs the joint federal, state and local government committee organising the Games candidature.


Today’s meeting will lay the groundwork for the full bid process to restart early next year. The Courier-Mail can also reveal that the state government will soon write to IOC president Thomas Bach telling him of Queensland’s continuing support for the Games.

“There is more work to be done to determine what hosting an Olympics means,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

“And we must ensure any future decisions are fully informed and in the best interests of Queenslanders.

“That is why it is critical as we progress these discussions over the coming months that we obtain the necessary support of all levels of government,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

The state government will also be seeking more information from the IOC once the postponed Tokyo Games gets the final green light, hopefully for the middle of next year.


An Olympics and Paralympics would pour tens of billions of dollars into the economy in tourism exposure and the building of transport infrastructure needed to ­secure the Olympics and Paralympics, according to the state government’s value proposition investigation.

State government analysis has shown that a 2032 ­Olympics could turbocharge Queensland’s economy with fast-tracked infrastructure projects and a tourism boost creating as many as 130,000 jobs and bring in $2.5bn provided by the IOC.

Earlier investigations also found that Organising Committee costs for the Olympic and Paralympic Games of $4.45bn could be delivered at no cost to the state or Queensland taxpayers, taking into account IOC contributions and domestic revenues, resulting in great opportunities for Queensland businesses.

Queensland secured a headstart after the SEQ Council of Mayors proposed a Games bid to fast-track new roads and rail with a feasibility study, which gathered momentum on the back of The Courier-Mail’s Future SEQ campaign and Premier Palaszczuk’s invitation to talk directly to IOC boss Mr Bach at Olympics headquarters in Laussane, Switzerland.

In December last year, Ms Palaszczuk announced that Queensland was going for the 2032 Olympics and Paralympics, won over by projections of what it would do for the economy right across the state. But there have been ­recent warnings that Queensland needed to keep up the momentum or lose its headstart against potential challengers, including Qatar, India and Indonesia. China last week threatened to launch a bid too.

Prime Minister Scott ­Morrison last month publicly reiterated the federal government’s support for a Queensland Games when he met Mr Bach in Japan.



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Queensland chases Olympics again after reports China would nab Games

Credit: Brisbane Times

By Lydia Lynch
December 7, 2020 — 11.24am

Queensland’s dream to host the 2032 Olympic Games is back on track after being put on ice during the pandemic, as the Premier brushes off reports China was planning to nab the Games.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the state’s Olympic taskforce would reconvene in 2021 to progress the bid after it disbanded during the pandemic.

Ms Palaszczuk met with Australian Olympic Committee president John Coates in Brisbane on Monday morning to restart talks after the bid was paused in May.

They met about a week after Chinese government’s English-language newspaper China Daily reported the cities of "Chengdu and Chongqing are planning to bid for the 2032 Summer Olympic Games".

Ms Palaszczuk and Mr Coates brushed off reports on Monday.

“We have not seen an official expression of interest [from China] but, look, we respect all of the competitors,” Mr Coates said.

"There is Jakarta, there is potentially a bid from India, from the Netherlands, from Germany and we respect them all but we will just concentrate and focus on our own merits."

Ms Palaszczuk announced plans to bid last year, but a formal decision about whether south-east Queensland would host the Games was not expected until 2022.

Preliminary planning suggested some football events could be held in Townsville and Cairns, sailing in the Whitsundays and volleyball at Broadbeach.

Ms Palaszczuk has previously flagged upgrades to the QSAC stadium and possibly Albion Park Raceway.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison talked up Brisbane’s chances of hosting the Games during a trip to Japan last month where he met with Mr Coates and Thomas Bach, the International Olympic Committee president.

The Premier hoped “to grab five minutes with the Prime Minister on Friday at national cabinet” to discuss plans.

Mr Coates will address Ms Palaszczuk’s cabinet in February on the status of the delayed Tokyo Games and the continued process for the 2032 bid.

He said the Tokyo Games were “definitely going ahead, postponed Games on July 23”.

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Coates insists no discussion of postponing or cancelling Tokyo Games

Credit:  Brisbane Times

By Chris Barrett and Eryk Bagshaw.  Updated January 22, 2021 — 12.53pm

John Coates, the Australian Olympic Committee president and International Olympic Committee vice-president, insists plans for the Tokyo Games are “proceeding fully”, saying there had been no discussion among organisers about another postponement or cancellation.

The future of the 2021 Tokyo Olympics had been thrown into doubt after a report surfaced suggesting the Japanese government had concluded the coronavirus pandemic would force the event to be cancelled.

John Coates, the Australian Olympic Committee president and International Olympic Committee vice-president, insists plans for the Tokyo Games are “proceeding fully”, saying there had been no discussion among organisers about another postponement or cancellation.

The future of the 2021 Tokyo Olympics had been thrown into doubt after a report surfaced suggesting the Japanese government had concluded the coronavirus pandemic would force the event to be cancelled.

Japanese government spokesman Manabu Sakai shut down the report within hours on Friday. “There is no truth to the report,” he said at a press conference.

Coates, who spoke to former Japanese prime minister and Tokyo 2021 organising committee president Yoshiro Mori on Thursday, told The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age the Olympics were still on track to be held this year with or without crowds.

“We’re meeting with them on operational matters now as we move closer to the Games. Then weekly we have, including last night, a meeting at the CEO level. And every few weeks we have a private chat to President Mori,” Coates, who is also the Tokyo 2020 co-ordination commission chair, said.

“They’re proceeding fully and Thomas Bach had a briefing of all the IOC members last night which was planned before Christmas and he’s doing the NOC [National Olympic Committee] presidents tonight. That was the message he and I gave.

“We won’t know until March, April or May how many spectators we can have. They should leave that as late as possible to see as they move out of summer the impact of the counter-measures they have now.”

The report also indicated that Tokyo organisers and the Japanese government had turned their attention to securing the next available Games, to be staged in 2032, as consolation for losing the already-postponed event, but Coates said that too was untrue.

“There’s been no discussion on that at all,” he said. “There is no discussion on 2032 with Japan because there is no discussion on not proceeding in Japan.

“Our biggest thing at the moment is to make sure the Japanese public are kept safe. They’ve got access to twice the number of [vaccine] doses than their population from three companies starting this month. So a lot of the decisions on venue capacity can be deferred to see the effect of that and the effect of the rollout around the world.“

Coates said the policy of the IOC and the AOC was not to put the athletes ahead of healthcare workers, the elderly and the sick in the queue for a COVID-19 vaccine.

“I’m aware that in some countries governments have committed to help the athletes [such as] Romania. Some of the NBA players [in the United States] are being vaccinated. We’re expecting people in the [English] Premier League will be vaccinated. We’re not expecting that here. We’re just hoping that they roll it out in sufficient time so that there wil be availability for two doses to go to our athletes before they go.”

The Games have been beset by rising political partisanship and unpopularity in Japan. A poll by national broadcaster NHK in December found only 27 per cent of the public supported hosting the event. The poll was taken before a winter coronavirus surge in which Japan hit an average of more than 6000 cases a day this week. The country recorded 100 deaths a day for the first time on Tuesday.

Japan’s opposition parties have seized on the public’s hostility, leading to rising political pressure within Suga’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party. The leader of the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, Yukio Edano, said on Thursday that it was “irresponsible to keep moving forward based only on wishful thinking”.

“We should batten down the hatches,” he said.

Suga declared a state of emergency in Tokyo on January 7, asked restaurants to close early and urged people to avoid non-essential travel as hospital wards moved towards capacity. The Japanese government is aiming to vaccinate most of the population by July but has yet to begin the program, which will target the vulnerable and the elderly first.

Taro Kono, the minister responsible for the rollout, hosed down on Wednesday reports that the general public would receive shots in May, two months out from the start of the Games. “I will do my best so that more people can get safe and effective vaccines at the earliest possible date,” he said.


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I'm expecting all of the powers that be to do whatever they can to have some sort of Games this year; I don't see Tokyo waiting until 2032.  I'm hopeful they don't anyway as I was already planning way long term to attend in Brisbane if they won the rights to the Games.  I think they would make a terrific host.

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Sports world holds its breath for Tokyo’s Olympic COVID ‘playbook’

Credit: Brisbane Times
By Phil Lutton January 30, 2021 — 11.00pm

After postponements and endless uncertainty about how the Olympic Games in Tokyo will play out, next week will bring some long-awaited detail from the hosts and organisers.

It will arrive on February 5 in the form of an official “playbook” from the International Olympic Committee, which will for the first time shed clear light on exactly how the IOC and their Japanese hosts plan to ensure a safe and successful Games for about 15,000 Olympic and Paralympic athletes.

The IOC needs the playbook to be well received as it tries to convince the world the Games can be salvaged. Earlier this month, it had to hose down reports the Japanese government was already resigned to cancelling the Olympics and had been workshopping various exit strategies, one of which was to try to claim the 2032 spot, which south-east Queensland remains favourite to snare.

Sceptics still believe the Games simply can’t be held in the current COVID-19 environment and both Tokyo organisers and the IOC are planning for an event where vaccines are not in play, although the more athletes are given access to doses before the July 23 opening the better.

The flow-on effects of a triumphant staging — or a costly cancellation — are immense, from the athletes wondering if five years of work are about to vanish into thin air to potential hosts more than a decade down the track.

Who pays the price?

Already, these summer Games are forecast to be among the most expensive in history, with delays blowing out an already bloated budget that sits close to $20 billion. That figure is likely to be conservative and any cancellation would be an immense blow to the coffers of the IOC, which relies heavily (75 per cent of revenue) on broadcast deals to fund its operations.

But the brunt of the Games will be carried by the Japanese taxpayer, says Matt Nichol, a Melbourne-based sports law academic with a particular interest in Japan. Those taxpayers aren’t likely to get a return on investment even if a slimline Games limps into life.

“In terms of real skin in the game, it’s not the IOC or broadcasters of sponsors or athletes, it’s the Japanese citizen. The total cost at the end of last year was about $US12.5 billion. And that money has been spent,” Nichol says.

“You get sold on the economic benefit of a Games, the legacy of the infrastructure and the exposure and the tourism. And however these Games are going to play out, they just aren’t going to get that usual return.

“However you break it down, the city of Tokyo and Greater Tokyo, they are going to wear the costs.”

How have the key Olympic sports coped?

Rohan Taylor is the head coach of the nation’s highest-profile Olympic sport and is as eager as anyone to see what kind of specifics the IOC playbook contains. His swimmers have become accustomed to upheaval, he says, but some real, tangible organisational scaffolding ahead of Tokyo would come as a blessing.

“Human nature doesn’t like uncertainty. We don’t respond well to that and there is a constant, swirling uncertainty around these Olympics. For us, we have to try and maintain the plans to get a group of athletes, coaches and staff and to get to Tokyo and perform at their best,” Taylor says.

“Those are the things that really guide us to ensure we prepare our team correctly. We have to be able to move into that space [in Japan] and be compliant but also we want some of that certainty. We’ll talk about the types of scenarios that may emerge and we feel like we can cope with anything now ... we’ve dealt with a lot already.

“But once we get some information from the IOC, that will definitely settle the nerves a bit.”

What of Australia’s bid for the 2032 Olympics?

Australia remains one of the favourites to host the Games of 2032, with the south-east Queensland bid having support from every level of government and progressing faster than many observers may have realised.

Brisbane’s lord mayor, Adrian Schrinner, confessed to a shortness of breath when he heard reports that Japan may withdraw and ask the IOC to in turn award them the 2032 Games. With that quickly dismissed, he says 2021 is a key year for Queensland’s bid as discussions with the IOC gain pace.

“It’s very exciting. All three levels of government are on board and working feverishly. There was a lull for a period last year where there wasn’t so much talk about the Olympics, but that didn’t mean things weren’t continuing behind the scenes. Now, it’s just a matter of getting down to targeted discussions and hopefully make it a reality,” Schrinner says.

“That is something that could happen any time now. I think 2021 will be the critical year for this … I really do think that. It may not be that a decision is made this year but ... a decision could be made at any stage from now on, essentially.”

The new bidding process has ended the days of costly presentations and years of greasing wheels in the hope of a final vote. Now, Schrinner says, there is a “constant dialogue” with the IOC that has progressed to a point where certain guarantees, like the ability to present a carbon-neutral Games, are being sought.

More than anything, an Australian Games looks like an extremely safe bet for an IOC that would love to have its next three Games locked in after the drama of Tokyo. That, Schrinner says, is a major selling point.

“That’s the case we’re putting forward to the IOC … we are a capable, safe set of hands to host an event of this magnitude.”

What do the athletes need to know before Tokyo?

According to Cate Campbell, Australia’s star freestyle sprinter and multiple Olympic gold medallist, not as much as you’d think. It’s not exactly “shut up and swim” but Campbell has become content to stay at arm’s length from the speculation and ensure she is ready to fire once the Games eventually begin.

“Ian Chesterman (Australia’s Chef de Mission) has been very good with communicating and making things really transparent but also, how much do athletes really need to know? An athlete’s job is to turn up and perform their best on the day. The organisers have the job to provide an environment where that can happen,” Campbell says.

“As long as those two parties are doing everything they can to get the best result, then I don’t need to know the ins and outs of plans A to Z. All I need to do is train and if there is important information, that will filter down to me.

“I just need to know what are the changes and how it affects my training and racing. And you can plan from there. Until then, it’s enough to know the Olympics are actually going ahead.”

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New ASC boss Sukkar wants to end hostilities with Olympic powerbroker

 Credit:  Brisbane Times

By Phil Lutton       February 4, 2021 — 7.00pm


Incoming chair of the Australian Sports Commission (ASC) Josephine Sukkar has promised a new era of collaboration with the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) as she assumes the role at a crucial time for sport in the nation.

Sukkar’s phone has already been ringing off the hook from sporting bodies seeking meetings after she takes up the seat vacated by John Wylie on February 8. She will oversee Sport Australia, the key Federal funding body, and the Australian Institute of Sport.

With a delayed Tokyo Games leaving just three years between Olympic cycles, as well as a bid for a local Games in Queensland in just over a decade, perfecting the funding model will be Sukkar’s core task once she gets settled into what is one of the most-influential positions in Australian sport.

Her resume suggests she won’t be daunted by the challenge, which was part of the reason she was head-hunted for the job. Sukkar is the co-founder and principal of construction giant Buildcorp, the president of Australian women’s rugby and and has sat on the boards of Opera Australia, the Australian Museum, Melbourne University Infrastructure Advisory Board and the Sydney University Football Club Foundation.

But mending the rickety bridge with the AOC will take all of her skills after years of bitterness between the bodies, in particular AOC president John Coates and the outgoing Wylie.

What started as a dispute over funding models degenerated into outright warfare at times, with Coates saying last year the relationship was dead in the water after what he perceived was interference from Wylie in the AOC election campaign of 2017.

Sukkar said she would draw a “line in the sand” and make moves to bring the ASC and AOC closer together, suggesting that there was little point trying to foster teamwork in sport if they were unable to lead by example at the top.

“I do know John from the Sydney business community. And he was instrumental in helping Rugby Sevens become an Olympic sport, which was amazing for us with the girls winning gold in Rio,” Sukkar said.

“And I look forward to a good working relationship with John. Gosh, we need to, that speaks for itself. We have Tokyo on our doorstep, the Brisbane bid. Here we are talking about team sport and if we can’t do this well at the top there is no hope for Australian sport at the bottom.

“It just has to work. I have come into this as a clean skin and it’s not helpful to look backwards. I just need to draw a line in the sand from February 8 and move forward.”

Coates said Sukkar’s appointment was a step in the right direction for the two bodies as she undertakes the initial steps in her three-year term.

“I know Josephine to be a well-credentialled business person and significant supporter of women’s rugby. A good start,” Coates said.

How to best fund sport, from the bottom to the top, has been the subject of circular debate in Australia for decades and Sukkar has already found out how many sports are trying to get their piece of a limited pie. Finding a balance between public and private funding, as well as fostering engagement with volunteers, will be one of the central metrics of success or failure.

“How is it already started? I don’t start until February 8 and people are already asking for meetings. Clearly, when we are passionate about our sports, people are having a go and I love it. I want to hear the presentations and briefings,” Sukkar said.

“One of the challenges is to make sure everyone is heard but it’s a balance. If I try to get to everything I’ll fail at everything. It’s just not going to be possible. I need to make sure every community gets heard but if I physically sit down with everybody, I won’t have time to get anything concrete done.”

It’s clear Sukkar will have a heavy focus on community sport and participation, with her rugby experience suggesting it’s vital to feed the roots for the rest of the plant to flourish.

“My exposure, and I think this would be most people’s experience, is you feed the base of the pyramid. If we focus on the grassroots of sport and get that formula right, the high performance aspect will look after itself by and large,” Sukkar said.

“If there are no athletes coming through, who is going to fill that high performance pipeline?

“I know sport, I know how to run a business. This is the time to lean in rather than watch on the sidelines and think how I would have done it differently. I’m going to try and support the government with the biggest levers it has, which is the funding.”

Whether that approach pleases Coates and the AOC remains to be seen, especially with the prospect of another home Olympics on the horizon in 2032. 

But the desire for an overdue truce can only be a good thing as sport begins to peer out from a period of unprecedented challenges and uncertainty.


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Brisbane awarded 2026 UCI BMX World Championships

Credit:  Insidethegames

By Mike Rowbottom, Saturday 6 February 2021

Brisbane has been awarded hosting rights for the 2026 BMX World Championships by the International Cycling Union (UCI), which has also awarded four new titles of "Bike City."

The 2026 World Championships is the second major BMX event the city on the east coast of Australia has been given in recent months, following last September’s awarding of this year’s Nitro World Games, where BMX will be a major part of the programme.

Brisbane is also at the centre of Queensland’s innovative region-wide bid for the 2032 Olympics.

The new recipients of the UCI Bike City designations, meanwhile, are the Flanders region of Belgium, Val di Sole in Italy, the city of Fayetteville in North Carolina, US, and Wollongong, Australia.

One other hosting award has been made by the UCI management committee - the 2021 UCI Trials World Youth Games are now scheduled to be held at Cordon in France from July 23 to 25.

Meanwhile the UCI has confirmed that, following the cancellation of the 2021 Para-cycling Track World Championships in Rio de Janeiro that was announced last December, the "difficult decision" has been taken not to try and re-stage these Championships this year.

The 2021 UCI Junior Track World Championships, due to have taken place in Cairo from April 5 to 9, have been postponed to "a later date in 2021."

The 2021 UCI BMX Supercross World Cup events in Stuttgart from May 8 to 9 and Bogota from May 29 to 30 have been named as the last qualifying events for BMX racing at the Tokyo 2020 Games.

Two other rounds of the UCI BMX World Cup will be organised before the end of 2021 in Sakarya, Turkey.

At the conclusion of the two-day meeting, UCI President David Lappartient declared: "The safety and well-being of athletes are at the heart of the UCI’s preoccupations."

The Bike City label is awarded to towns, cities or regions which not only host major cycling events, but also invest in developing community cycling and related infrastructure and programmes, helping to boost the profile of the sport and increase participation.

The governing body said that Flanders had been given the label due to its consistent hosting of UCI events as well as the region’s cycling policy plan, adapted in 2016, which prioritised increasing road safety for cyclists and encouraged residents to take up cycling as a way to commute to work and school.

The other three have all been named as the hosts of forthcoming UCI events, with Val di Sole due to stage this year’s UCI Mountain Bike World Championships, Fayetteville the 2022 UCI Cyclo-Cross World Championships and Wollongong next year’s UCI Road World Championships.

The four new additions take the total number of global Bike Cities to 18, with the following 14 having been given the label since the UCI relaunched the title in 2016 - Bergen (Norway), Drenthe (the Netherlands), Fyn (Denmark), Gelderland (the Netherlands), Heusden-Zolder (Belgium), Limburg-Valkenburg (the Netherlands), Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines (France), Vancouver (Canada), Woensdrecht (the Netherlands), Yorkshire (Britain), Copenhagen (Denmark), Glasgow (Britain), Paris (France) and Tirol (Austria).

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Australia takes giant leap towards hosting 2032 Olympic Games


Credit: Sydney Morning Herald


By Phil Lutton
Updated February 24, 2021 — 10.05amfirst published at 8.42am

Australia looks all but certain to host another Olympic Games, with reports that the Brisbane bid for the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games will be installed as the preferred candidate by the International Olympic Committee as early as Wednesday night.

Respected Olympic news website Inside the Games said the Queensland bid for 2032 has been the standout and the IOC’s Future Host Summer Commission will recommend it to the executive board, which includes the Australian Olympic Committee’s president and IOC vice president John Coates

Should the board rubber-stamp the findings of the Commission, Queensland will continue as the sole negotiators with the IOC as they move towards an official unveiling as the 2032 hosts. That may happen as early as this year ahead of the rescheduled Tokyo Olympics but even if that IOC session is delayed, Australia now has the firm inside running on its rivals.

“The Brisbane, Queensland candidature is following the process approved by IOC members in session in 2019,” the AOC said in a statement on Wednesday

“We are aware that the IOC executive board will receive presentations from a number of commissions at its meeting tonight, including the Future Host Commission.

“We are not privy to that presentation but look forward to any advice in due course.”

Last month, Brisbane Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner told the Herald the region was on the verge of having ‘targeted discussions’ with the IOC as they push forward with plans to lock in a host after Paris in 2024 and Los Angeles in 2028.

“It’s very exciting. All three levels of government are on board and working feverishly. There was a lull for a period last year where there wasn’t so much talk about the Olympics, but that didn’t mean things weren’t continuing behind the scenes. Now, it’s just a matter of getting down to targeted discussions and hopefully make it a reality,” Schrinner says.

“That is something that could happen any time now. I think 2021 will be the critical year for this … I really do think that. It may not be that a decision is made this year but ... a decision could be made at any stage from now on, essentially.”


Under the new bidding process, there is no big reveal of the kind that saw Sydney awarded the Games ahead of 2000. Instead, potential hosts engage in a ‘continuous dialogue’ with the IOC that reduces the immense expense required to make a Games bid.

Cities must also make heavy use of established venues to ensure there is no waste and white elephants of the kind that have littered recent hosts, including Rio in 2016. The south-east Queensland bid will make use of many of the venues used at the successful 2018 Commonwealth Games.

Other interested bidders include Doha, a German bid, Budapest and what appeared to be a fanciful joint bid by North and South Korea. The Queensland bid had already been installed as the favourite but the report will now take that process to the next level.

A feasibility study suggested Queensland could host the Games for a net cost of around $900m once domestic revenue and IOC funds were taken into account. Coates has previously suggested the Games could be cost neutral for Brisbane and surrounds given the new streamlined hosting regulations.


The study, with Brisbane as the centerpiece of the bid, was released by the Council of Mayors, a group representing south-east Queensland, in early 2019.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced a hiatus to the bid during the coronavirus pandemic but it was revived in December.

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Don't quite understand this preferred bidder status - isn't a targeted dialogue exactly what they've been having for the last couple of years? Does it just mean 'will be put to confirmation vote at the next Session', ie hopefully July?

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44 minutes ago, yoshi said:

Don't quite understand this preferred bidder status - isn't a targeted dialogue exactly what they've been having for the last couple of years? Does it just mean 'will be put to confirmation vote at the next Session', ie hopefully July?

I think under the new rules that it means that the IOC is “formalising” the Brisbane / South East Queensland Bid as the Candidate that it wishes to award the Games as it continues discussions with them ahead of a formal announcment in the not too distant future.

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Brisbane lord mayor calls for decade-long Olympics boom

Credit:  Brisbane Times
By Tony Moore
February 24, 2021 — 5.07pm

Hosting the Olympics would force all three levels of government to produce a “decade-long infrastructure boom” in south-east Queensland before the cauldron was lit, Brisbane’s lord mayor says as the region becomes a hot favourite to host the 2032 Games.

Lord mayor Adrian Schrinner said federal, state and local governments would have to work together on selected projects to enhance the region should its bid be successful.

His comments came hours after it emerged south-east Queensland’s bid for the 2032 Olympic Games was set to be installed as the preferred host candidate as early as Wednesday night.

“If we don’t have that investment in our region we will end up like Sydney and, to a certain extent, Melbourne,” Cr Schrinner said.

“We will become a place where connectivity is a problem. We need these things anyway and the Games is the opportunity to bring it forward.”

Cr Schrinner said the multibillion-dollar South East Queensland City Deal, put on hold in July because of the COVID-19 pandemic, was back under negotiation.

“Over a week ago I met with [Urban Infrastructure] Minister Paul Fletcher to really kick off the discussions again with the City Deal,” he said.

“We are really focused on getting that done by the middle of the year. There is a clear link between the City Deal and hosting the Olympics.”

Cr Schrinner said Brisbane was an entirely different city to the one that first bid to host an Olympic Games in 1980s, when it lost to Barcelona.

“Anyone who has lived here during that time has witnessed that change,” he said.

“Brisbane has come of age, our region has come of age and we are ready and we are capable.”

Brisbane’s rivals include Jakarta in Indonesia, Rhine-Ruhr in Germany, Doha in Qatar and possibly the south-west Chinese region between the two tourist cities Chengdu and Chongqing, which are linked by a fast-train network.

The south-east Queensland bid estimated the cost of staging the Games at $5.3 billion, which would be partly offset by the International Olympic Committee providing a minimum $2.5 billion contribution.

“How can you not be confident in Brisbane, when you look at where we are positioned, the positive growth in the region and the major plans for infrastructure?” Cr Schrinner said.

“You would expect me to say that, but I think the International Olympic Committee has been very positive as well.

“In subsequent discussions with the IOC, they have all been impressed with the work we have done.”

Cr Schrinner said the remaining costs not offset by the IOC and media contracts would pay for infrastructure the region needed because of population growth.

The Gold Coast hosted the 2018 Commonwealth Games and Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has told IOC about 80 per cent of venues were already built and available.

IOC president Thomas Bach visited Brisbane and the Gold Coast in 2019 and said he was impressed with the infrastructure.

Brisbane’s latest Olympics bid began son March 6, 2015.

Back then Brisbane wanted the 2028 Games and 12 months of pre-feasibility work went into that unsuccessful bid.

Things evolved and a bid for the 2032 Summer Olympics was put together.

The IOC now guaranteed the staging of the Olympics, not the cost of infrastructure, was “revenue-neutral”, Cr Schrinner said.

“The cost of hosting the Games itself will be offset by the revenue from things like the sale of media rights,” he said.

“So there is a significant multibillion [dollar] commitment on the table from the IOC to help fund the operating cost of the Games.”

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I wouldnt call Brisbane a shithole...but its not a great city. It does have ambition though, and hosted a hugely successful World Expo in 1988..It would be very small by Olympic standards, at 2.3 million, the whole state just 5 million.

Melbourne is the best equipped Australian city to host the Games- it really has a full range of facilities already built. But the timing would have been tricky so far South.

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2 hours ago, yoshi said:

Don't quite understand this preferred bidder status - isn't a targeted dialogue exactly what they've been having for the last couple of years? Does it just mean 'will be put to confirmation vote at the next Session', ie hopefully July?

When the Executive Board makes a strategic decision to move forward with one or more Preferred Host(s) for a specific edition of the Games, this defines the start of a “Targeted Dialogue.”

At this time the preferred host(s) will be asked to submit a set of streamlined documents, including guarantees. The requirements and timelines will be the same for all preferred hosts. The Future Host Commissions will continue our work by making more detailed evaluations of the projects. This part is similar to the previous “Candidature Process”.

It is the responsibility of the Executive Board to put forward one or more preferred hosts for election at the IOC Session. Meaning that the IOC Membership will continue to be the final decision-makers on future hosts of the Olympic Games.


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So just how long would this phase last - if done today, would that mean the IOC would be able to do the final deal at the session that'll be attached to the Tokyo Games (hopefully)? And does the whole arrangement all but guarantee John Coates as Bach's successor in 2025 as well?

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6 hours ago, Gonzo said:

Brisbane is an Atlanta like shithole

This has John Coates dirty corrupt fingermarks all over it

Don’t be ridiculous.

When was the last time you travelled to the City of Brisbane, or the Gold or Sunshine Coasts?  

Have you actually read any of the posts in this thread, including all the infrastructure projects completed already or under construction?

Brisbane is a world class city with with many of the required venues already existing throughout South East Queensland.

This Bid has not just happened overnight as a thought bubble, it has been in the making for six years and builds upon many of the existing venues used for the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

The Bid all has the support of all of three levels of Government, local, state and Australian Governments plus Queensland’s main opposition party.

After several years of preparation, that is exactly why the International Olympic Committee is, under the IOC’s widely publicised and open Agenda 2020 Bidding rules, coralling the South East Queensland as the preferred Bidder for 2032.

The Bid is following the process approved by IOC Members in Session 2 years ago.

Once installed as the preferred host candidate and having exclusive negotiations with the IOC, the Brisbane and South East Queensland Bid will be in a strong position to win the rights to host the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

As President of the Australian Olympic Committee John Coates is supporting the Bid but plays no part in the IOC’s selection process.


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