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Brisbane Olympics 2032: Rivals furious over south-east Queensland bid

Credit: The Courier-Mail

By Julian Linden

February 27, 2021 - 3:27PM

Rival countries are furious over the success of south-east Queensland’s Olympics bid, but has the IOC made the right call?

It isn’t just rival bidders that are miffed that Brisbane has all but been assured of hosting the 2032 Olympics and Paralympics.

A handful of countries in Asia, Europe and the Middle East have been crying foul that south-east Queensland got the jump on them to be named as the preferred choice for 2032 and are letting everyone know about it.

Dagmar Freitag, who is the chair of the German Sports Committee, has gone public with her criticism of the process that saw Brisbane pushed to the head of the queue, saying it was inferior to the old system where International Olympic Committee members decided the winner with a vote.

“The new selection system, praised by IOC President Thomas Bach as ‘more cost-effective and apolitical, and also preventing any unacceptable influence’ can hardly be surpassed in terms of non-transparency,” she said.

It is an open secret that plenty of Olympic members prefer the old voting system because it gave them a bigger say in determining the winner – and the announcement was undoubtedly a more dramatic moment than the bland announcement this week that Brisbane was in the box seat – but thankfully wiser heads have prevailed.

The IOC cops a lot of flak that is often deserved but in this case, Olympic officials got it exactly right when they changed their outdated system for selecting hosts.

That method was failing badly because it had become far too expensive for smaller populated regions like Southeast Queensland to win when they were up against megacities and the IOC needs to cut costs to keep more candidates interested to ensure the survival of the world’s biggest multi-sports event.

All the moaning about lack of transparency is just sour grapes because the IOC’s new system — part of a stack of reforms that have been introduced since Bach took over in 2013 — have been clearly explained to every country wanting to bid for the Games and the only reason Brisbane is the preferred candidate is because Queensland’s bid was better than all the others.

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8 hours ago, munichfan said:

Google's Satellite images show a block to the west of the stadium that seems to be some outdated commercial buildings which, given they were to be torn down, should provide sufficient space for a training track, so that shouldn't be the issue.

It seems this block has recently been cleared and is a construction site for a new metro line. Meaning when they are done around 2024 access to the underground station and a new bridge to the Gabba will mean that - even if the real estate development was to be pushed back until after 2032 - there will probably not be enough room left to fit an Athletics track.

So I guess we can expect the new stadium at Albion to be built. For sure, Brisbane officials will mant to make sure the icing on their Olympic cake is not held in another city. Plus, having another 2,000-ish athletes + officials at the Gold Coast might be problematic village-wise. Every single room they use for athletes is one less for spectators and media.

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Funds and Games: Why the money matters as Brisbane builds towards 2032

Credit:  The Age

By Phil Lutton

February 26, 2021 — 7.40pm

There are certain issues you can set your watch by before any Olympic Games. Will the venues be ready on time? Have the costs blown out? Who will light the flame, or in the case of Tokyo, will there be anybody in the stands to watch it?

In the aftermath, especially if results don’t fall Australia’s way, you can bet your life that the funding model for elite sport will be right in the firing line. If taxpayers don’t feel they are getting value on investment, those tasked with slicing the pie find themselves under a burning spotlight.

With a home Olympics in Brisbane now on the horizon for 2032, the pressure to ensure the right funds are heading to the right areas, both at the elite and grassroots level, will be crucial for Australia’s chances to climb up the medal tally. The people openly bemoaning the idea of hosting a Games at all are likely to be the same ones complaining the loudest if Australia’s athletes don’t perform to expectations. As was the case in Sydney, a home Games brings added pressure to perform, regardless of the competitive realities.

Funding is a complex area, controlled by multiple bodies, and it has been coloured of late by politics, egos and on occasion, open warfare between powerbrokers. At the heart of it lies Sport Australia and the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS), which both fall under the umbrella of the Australian Sports Commission (ASC).

Sport Australia is tasked with funding programs for encouraging participation, helping to drive community sport and support growth of the industry, while the AIS leads the high-performance sector and divides about $150m per year among the 38 Olympic, Paralympic and Commonwealth Games sports, including around $14m for direct grants to athletes.

Everybody wants a cut of the action but the mechanism in which it’s allotted has rarely been perfect. After the Rio Games, the Winning Edge strategy that funded sports judged to be in the best position to podium was abandoned after the team failed to meet its predicted top-five finish (Australia finished 10th on the medal tally).

Many critics weren’t sad to see its demise, with Australian Olympic Committee president John Coates among its main detractors. But just months out from Tokyo, there has yet to be another elite funding strategy unveiled and the core elements of Winning Edge are still largely in play.

“Winning Edge, while the title and the name is not used, the principles behind that are still pretty much in place,” said Dr Lisa Gowthorp, an assistant professor of sport management at Bond University who has spent time working at the AIS in the past.

“Post-Rio, Winning Edge was slammed pretty hard, so it kind of dissolved and we were all waiting for another high-performance plan to come out for the future. That didn’t happen.

“But the principles are similar; funding for success, funding for podium. That’s where we are leading into Tokyo.”

Sport has become a funding arms race at the Olympic level and local administrators point to the fact that stagnant funding levels, which have failed to keep pace with rival nations, have been reflected in results. Team GB’s wildly successful home Games in London was powered by an almost $700m investment in the four-year cycle from 2008 alone, with most of that money from the National Lottery.

Australia doesn’t have that system and it’s highly unlikely to happen even before another home Olympics: “The majority of NSO’s (National Sports Organisations) receive 80 per cent of more of their funding from the government and we’re not in a situation in Australia where that is ever going to change,” said Gowthorp, who believes the Brisbane Games should be the catalyst for a new discussion about how to fund sport as a whole, preferably from the ground upwards.


“Participation is an area that has fallen apart. Maybe they come out with a plan for for the 10 years, possibly increasing the funding for elite sport in that last four-year cycle. It will be interesting to see.

“We don’t have a lotto system. Maybe it’s implementing programs now that organically let athletes come through, rather than just throw money at athletes that are good now and try to fast-track them to the podium. It’s probably better to put in place a longer term, 10-year plan than throw money at sports four years out.”

The tone of that discussion could be coloured by what happens in Tokyo in July and August. The ASC are no longer in the business of predicting medal tallies, which should reduce some of the glare. Strong results could give the government wiggle room to dedicate more funds, while perceived struggles would renew the funding debate.

“After every Games, it’s crunch time in the media and crunch time for the AIS,” Gowthorp said. “We’re taking the biggest team ever to Tokyo and some good results there will also encourage greater investment towards Brisbane. If we do bomb out, we get the criticism we get every four years about the money spent on sport and whether it’s the right one.”

Nicola Johnson is a water polo coach in Brisbane and an elite referee that will be on the whistle when Tokyo begins. She has seen both ends of the competitive spectrum and dearly hopes funds will flow from the bottom of the pyramid towards the top.

“It’s getting the word out there about the sport and making people aware. Once the kids play the sport, they are hooked on it right away. The more pathways are funded for the opportunities, the more kids go on to represent Queensland and Australia,” Johnson said.

“I’m sure it’s the same for every sport in every state but it’s too often the case that the kids whose parents can afford for them to play for Queensland and Australia get the chance, not always the better ones.”

Johnson said one family had been hit with some $30k of costs to fund a daughter making her way up the elite pathway. For most, that number is simply impossible to achieve.

“Until they get into the Stingers or Sharks (the Olympic teams), it’s totally user pays. It certainly adds up. I would like to see a bit like what they do in Europe, it goes to the club and they can help their athletes make rep teams but also make sure they bolster their programs, help their coaches.

“I think it’s best used at the club base as long as it’s used wisely. I’d love to see our kids be able to get every chance to play here in front of family and friends in 2032.”

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There are plenty of reasons to be cheerful for the potential Brisbane 2032 Olympics

Credit/Source:  ABC News Australia

By National Sport Reporter David Mark

 David Mark

Posted 27 February 2021

In the maelstrom, energy, and angst of late 70s London punk a maverick emerged.

Ian Dury was 35 — an old man and seasoned musician in a sea of angry young things — but the punks adopted him as one of their own. After all, he'd been wearing an earring razor blade long before Johnny Rotten had ripped his first T-shirt.

He fused rock 'n' roll, funk, ska, reggae, and old-time music hall with the punk ethos of creative self-expression and out popped some of the best songs of the late 70s.

While London was burning and anarchy was in the UK, Dury and his band, The Blockheads, were taking a different road.

In his Reasons to be Cheerful Part 3, to the backing of a particularly funky un-punk groove, he rolled off an eclectic list of reasons to get up and going each day.

Among them were: Buddy Holly, the Hammersmith Palais, porridge, the Bolshoi Ballet, the juice of a carrot, a little drop of claret, motorbikes, sex, John Coltrane, curing smallpox, yellow socks, Salvador Dali, phoning a friend, prostitutes, Dominica Camels, and on it went.

All very well, you say, but what's Ian Dury got to do with this week's announcement that Brisbane has all but won the right to host the 2032 Olympic Games?

Tenuous, I'll grant you. But as I was strolling down the street the morning it was announced that Brisbane had been announced as the IOC's preferred candidate city, I foresaw all the options for cynicism that would surely get thrown up.

Suddenly Ian Dury and Reasons to be Cheerful popped into my head the way songs will.

Sure, the Olympic Games have become the very symbol of overblown excess in the sporting world.

Olympic cities build grand stadiums that soon fall into ruin as budgets go into deficit of billions of dollars.

The International Olympic Committee fat cats have a jolly old time while the homeless are shuffled off the streets.

Bread and circuses, that sort of thing.

It's all fair, proven, correct.

The IOC only has itself to blame for creating a system that saw potential cities throwing good money after bad in order to get the Olympic nod, with the baked-in potential of corruption leaving a legacy of sporting white elephants as necessary collateral — think Athens, Rio and Pyeongchang among many others.

The IOC has reformed the system of bidding, and while it remains to be seen whether the 2032 Olympics will actually be cost-neutral as promised, at least there is a recognition that the over-spending and overbuilding days are gone.

And so, in the spirit of Ian Dury, here are some reasons to be cheerful about the 2032 Olympic Games in Brisbane:

Reason number 1: Legacy infrastructure

The Olympics have a new model based on the idea that cities should not build new venues unless they have an ongoing life.

For years it looked like the Sydney Olympic precinct at Homebush would become the white elephant that so many predicted after the 2000 Games. But go there now and you'll find a thriving work, retail and residential community. Not only is Olympic Park home to many of Australia and New South Wales' leading sporting institutions, it's also home to Sydney's largest stadium and others that regularly host elite sporting contests.

Tens of thousands live and work in the area and on the weekends, the surrounding parklands hum with people having a picnic, riding a bike, exploring the wetlands, or using the sporting facilities like the Olympic pool. If Brisbane does have to build new infrastructure, it's mandated that it has to be done with a view to a long and useful life.

Reason number 2: Brisbane is a beautiful city and it's particularly lovely in September

Brisbane is beautiful one day, perfect the next.


Reason number 3: Large multi-sport events are fun

If you were at Sydney in 2000, you know what I'm talking about. The people who fled the city out of fear and loathing regretted it when everyone who stayed told them what a good time they'd missed out on. The Melbourne Commonwealth Games in 2006 was a hoot as was the 2018 edition on the Gold Coast.

It may be short lived, but for a couple of weeks the community can come together to enjoy a rare collective experience of goodwill. When it's done well, the public transport works, every night's a party and barring that bastard COVID still lurking, you'll get to meet people from all over the world.


Reason number 4: Watching elite sport is brilliant

It doesn't matter if it's Cathy Freeman winning gold in Sydney or the crème de la crème of Polish European Handball, the Olympic Games provide an opportunity to see the best of the very best do their thing — often for free — and that's just a buzz.


Reason number 5: A home Olympic games is a massive drawcard for Australian athletes who long to compete in front of friends and family

If the AOC and the member sports get it right, the Olympic Games can provide an incentive for hundreds of thousands of young Australians to engage in sport. Right now, there's an eight-year-old girl practicing her front-side airs at the local skate park, who will go on to compete at the Brisbane Games.

Australia has learnt its lesson from Rio when the focus was on winning above else. The Olympic Games were created on the idea of participation. That notion has become outdated in a world of doping and unequal access to coaching and training, where rich nations have a massive advantage over poorer ones. It will ever be thus.

But the goal of competing and doing your best is still something worth aspiring to and if that encourages people to get active, what's not to love?

Call me naive, call me foolish. You may be right.

But just for the moment, I'm going to ignore the cynicism that so easily bubbles to the surface and instead find the reasons to be cheerful.


Reason number 6: An Olympic Games in Brisbane might just be okay

Sydney 2000 worked out pretty well, didn’t it?





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Will hosting the Olympic Games in 2032 really be worth it for Brisbane?

Credit/Source: ABC News Australia

By George Roberts

Posted 26 February 2021 at 7:24am, updated 26 February 2021 at 12:34pm

After all the hype, what would it mean for Brisbane and Queensland if it were to host the 2032 Olympic Games and would it really be worth it?

Australian gold medallist Paralympian Kurt Fearnley said "yes — absolutely yes".

"Mate, I'm so excited," he said.

"From the Sunshine Coast down to the Gold Coast, if they get this across the line, everyone will be able to get that hands-on experience of the Olympic and Paralympic Games." 

The champion wheelchair athlete says the games have the power to change the way thousands of kids see their future.

"I remember that first day that it was announced that the Sydney 2000 games would be coming to Australia," he said.

"That was the moment that I changed — I changed how I saw what my future would be."

One of those children who already have stars in their eyes at the mere prospect of a home Olympics and Paralympics is Anouk van Doore-Nave.

The eight-year-old plays soccer at the Oxley United Football Club at Corinda in Brisbane's south.

"It's really exciting because I want to go to the Olympics. It's really fun," she said.

Given past experience though, the Games are likely to cost far more than they bring into the economy.

"Look, I think there are so many aspects of hosting an Olympic and Paralympic Games that are above and beyond the cost of hosting it," Mr Fearnley said.

It can't be ignored though that the Games will be an expensive exercise because the Olympic and Paralympic Games have a reputation for cost blowouts.

It's already tipped to cost more than $5 billion based on what the Australian Olympic Committee president John Coates estimates.

Despite ticket sales, endorsements and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) covering much of the costs, a feasibility study still predicts a shortfall of about $900 million, which would be paid for by ratepayers.

Olympic stadiums lie abandoned

But the Committee for Brisbane, a not-for-profit group that promotes the city's virtues, believes the IOC's new approach will reduce those costs and make them manageable.

The committee's chief executive Barton Green said it was about lessening the cost burden and reducing the number of surplus facilities left behind.

"The new model for the Games is no new stadia unless it can be demonstrated that the stadium has an ongoing and permanent use," Mr Green said.

With stadiums and arenas lying abandoned in Rio de Janeiro, PyeongChang and scores of other former Olympic cities, the IOC is looking for bids that can use existing sites, rather than building venues from scratch.

The Brisbane bid's Venue Masterplan proposes seven new facilities, which could be reduced to just two by using more of the existing competition venues.

Mr Green said the Olympics would force upgrades of road and rail access in the south-east, which is a big bonus.

"The permanent benefit for our community is a better and faster-connected region, both by road and rail, and what other forms of transport we may have in 2032," he said.

"So there can be some really permanent benefits for the community that the focus of the games can help deliver."

One logistical aspect organisers can't get around is where everyone will sleep.

The same IOC feasibility study predicted Brisbane would see a shortfall of 61,000 rooms by 2032 as it would require more than 80,000 beds for athletes and spectators.

That gives South-East Queensland 10 years to build the equivalent of 600 medium-sized hotels.

In a time when mass gatherings are cancelled, banned or curtailed, it's hard to believe we'll be packing stadiums full of people.


But virologist Kirsty Short said by 2032 that would not be a concern.

"We're already seeing a drop in global cases with the initial vaccine rollout. That's only going to increase as we get more vaccines rolled out across the world," Dr Short said.

Another bonus for Mr Fearnley is the benefit of having something to look forward to.

"I just think that we're in one of the most challenging times of our lives," he said.

"The chance that we would be bringing an Olympic and Paralympic Games out to this country is the time that we actually look to the other side of where we are.

"That's the first step that we take to get out from underneath what this pandemic has put us all [under]."

Despite the financial cost, the logistics and the arguments over whether the games really deliver a return on investment, there's an intangible benefit that cannot be measured.

It's the excitement and inspiration that people like Kurt Fearnley call "life-changing."

From that point of view, it's definitely worth it.

But you'll have to beat the champion athlete to get first dibs on tickets.

"I will guarantee, if we win these games, I will be the first lining up to get tickets to the Paralympics with my kids," he said.

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Queensland Premier flags possible new stadium, aquatic facility to be built for Brisbane Olympics 2032

Credit/Source: ABC News Australia

By Sally Eeles

Posted 25 February 2021
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has flagged a new venue may be built in South-East Queensland to host the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2032 Olympics and Paralympics if the region secures the Games.

The riverside city is on track to host the international games as the International Olympic Committee named Brisbane its "preferred bid".

A Brisbane Olympic Stadium with capacity to seat 50,000 people has been proposed for track and field events, according to the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) feasibility assessment.

Ms Palaszczuk said it was "an option", although using the Gabba for the ceremonies and the Gold Coast's Carrara stadium for the athletics were also possibilities.

"There is the option of one new big venue in terms of where we would have the opening ceremony ... but we may use Carrara as well," she said.

Ms Palaszczuk said she wanted to make sure the event was inclusive of the regional centres with opportunities for the Gold Coast, Logan, Ipswich and Redlands.

A new aquatics facility, the Brisbane Arena, that is expected to hold 15,000 spectators has also been proposed to host swimming and water polo events.

Ms Palaszczuk said the infrastructure required is already part of Queensland's five-to-10-year plan.

"The Olympic Committee are looking for existing structures," Ms Palaszczuk said.

"They don't want countries or states to go and invest in monumental stadiums that are not going to be used in the future.

"This is transformational infrastructure for our city and our region and it would bring huge economic benefit and jobs as part of our economic recovery as we come out of COVID."

The Gold Coast Commonwealth Games Optus Aquatic Centre could also be used as an alternative for water-based events.


Both the proposed new stadium and aquatic facility would be built on the northern side of the Brisbane River.

Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner said "a few more need to be built" but they would instead be focussing on transport.

"Under the IOC's new norm, there's a greater ability to use existing venues — it keeps the cost down," he said.

"There's also the opportunity to use temporary venues as well, we'll be taking advantage of that.

"So, we have 85 to 90 per cent of the venues that are either existing venues, or the ability to have temporary venues."

Cr Schrinner said road and transport infrastructure would need to be improved in South-East Queensland ahead of the Games.

"We've got 11 years to make sure everything is geared up," he said.

'Commonwealth Games helped Brisbane's case'

Brisbane was announced overnight as the “preferred candidate city” to host the Games, after a campaign started by the state's mayors six years ago.

Australian Olympic Committee President John Coates said the successful Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in 2018 helped secure Queensland's case.

It is also the first time the International Olympic Committee has shown interest in a region, rather than a single city.

Events are planned for the Sunshine and Gold Coasts, with athletes to be housed to the north and south of Brisbane.

"We now have to complete the final questionnaires and legal documentation," he said.

"If they tick the box then the IOC Executive Board will recommend to the full IOC membership — 115 members — that we go to election as the only candidate."

Mr Coates said IOC checks and inspections would be done remotely due to COVID and to save money.

"It will cost no more than $10 million by the time we do the final presentation," Mr Coates said.

Mr Schrinner said Queensland would be the talk of the world today.

"You literally could not pay for that amount of free advertising around the world," he said.

"That will go on for the next decade.

"Now, whether that's the better infrastructure that it brings, or whether it's the incredible boost to tourism, that doesn't just happen for those two weeks [when the Games are on], it happens on an ongoing basis."

Daniel Gschwind from the Queensland Tourism Industry Council said the Games could be a potential win for the whole state.

"That it will bring potentially so much direction and so much enthusiasm and so much opportunity to the state and we should all be proud of that," he said.

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Queensland Olympic Games bid gets a mixed reaction from the state's regions

Credit/Source: ABC News Australia

ABC North West QLD / By Kelly ButterworthElly Bradfield and Staff Reporters
Posted 25 February 2021
The Queensland Olympics bid success has sparked mixed reactions from the state's regions, with some seeking involvement and others strongly opposed to the financial costs.

Leader of the Katter Australia Party Robbie Katter went as far as to say that the news was devastating to regional and remote Queenslanders.

"I'm pretty angry every time I hear about the Olympics bid because I know there's an insatiable appetite by modern governments of any persuasion to distract the public with large social infrastructure," he said.

"The problem with it is it's expensive, it costs us our taxes, and if they're spending money on these large social infrastructure projects it means there's no money for our hospitals and schools.

"When I've got hospitals bring downgraded in Julia Creek and upgrades needed in hospitals throughout the region and dams to be built that can't be funded because they're committing money to large social infrastructure projects, well that makes me pretty cranky." 

Mr Katter said the bid would lead to fewer resources in regional and remote regions.

“You might see a slight increase in outback tourism, but that is just nonsense to think the benefit outside south-east Queensland would be commensurate with the imposition it will put on us in the future," he said. 

Regional residents split 

Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) President and IOC Vice-President John Coates said Queensland would need financial assistance from the federal government. 

"South East Queensland needs this money to manage growth in the region, Mr Coates said.

"I'm sure this will accelerate that."

Toowoomba resident Melinda Browne said she would attend the Games and it was something positive to look forward to after a difficult period during the pandemic. 

"Well it will be good with the coronavirus, bringing some tourism here," she said. 

Donna Marshall said it was a lot of money to spend and would prefer some simpler infrastructure upgrades. 

"I just wish they'd fix the buses up," said the Toowoomba resident. 

"But if we could have some of the events up here that would be good." 

And pensioner Henry Hefner, also from Toowoomba, was apathetic and said the announcement didn't excite him at all. 

"I won't be going, that's one thing," he said. 

Geoff Reid said it was "pretty exciting" but said he had other concerns on his mind at the moment including COVID-19 and the end of JobSeeker and JobKeeper payments. 

"But who knows what 2032 is going to be like, so it could be a master stroke," he said. 

"Fast rail is something I'd love to see in my lifetime, I've heard about it for years and years and that would certainly be a huge win for Toowoomba."

Richmond mayor in support

Richmond Shire Mayor John Wharton said he thought Mr Katter was "playing a bit of politics" and that the successful bid would be good for Queensland. 

"Australia's sitting at the bottom of the world and we have a great country and we need to put it out there," Cr Wharton said. 

"There's a big focus on the south-east, but you know when you live in the north-west there's a big focus on the south-east every day. 

"I don't mind being in the minority. I've been the mayor for 24 years and I've sort of got a good handle on what I believe is good for our region."

World-class in the regions

Clarke McKay is the President of Rockhampton Hockey Association, and said all the focus should not be on the south-east region's infrastructure. 

In 2018, Rockhampton hosted the Oceania Cup, an Olympic qualifier event, with hockey teams from New Zealand, Australia and the Pacific nations.

"We have a world-class facility here, and I think we could kick some goals if we were given the opportunity," Mr McKay said.

"We've spent five million dollars over the past 10 years putting in the facility — it's got world-class lighting and surfaces."

Rockhampton Mayor wants consideration

Rockhampton Mayor Tony Williams said the city could be considered as a training venue for international athletes and agreed with Mr McKay's view about hockey opportunities. 

The Fitzroy River has previously hosted national rowing teams preparing for world titles. 

"Rowing is one that has been mentioned previously with the Fitzroy River and the opportunity to host rowing," Cr Williams said.

"The other one would be hockey, the hockey complex that we have now — the velodrome — I am sure there are many other opportunities there."

Push for rail infrastructure

Less than two hours west of Brisbane, Toowoomba Mayor Paul Antonio said the announcement was the greatest boost the area had seen in a long time.

He said he would push hard for fast rail to the region as well as upgrading of venues. 

"We've got to fight hard for the necessary infrastructure that will include Toowoomba in the events for the Olympic Games," Cr Antonio said. 

"So it opens a lot of doors for us ... but there is a sense of urgency." 

Gold Coast set the stage

Ex-Olympic swimming medallist and chairman of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games organising committee Mark Stockwell said the Gold Coast's Commonwealth Games set a precedent for the 2032 bid.

"It goes back to our success at the Commonwealth Games at the Gold Coast and how we staged that," he said.

Mr Stockwell said Gold Coast City Council Mayor Tom Tate should "get behind" the Games.

"Tom was great during the Commonwealth Games and we need successive leadership over the next decade to really get the best value out of it," he said.

"What Tom's probably worried about is what it going to cost."

The Gold Coast's established hotel and accommodation inventory is expected to be an asset for the city's inclusion in the Games.

Whitsundays vying for sailing

Event chairman at the Whitsunday Sailing and Airlie Beach race week principal race officer Ross Chisholm said the Australian Olympic Committee had reached out about the possibility of hosting sailing events in the region.

"Mid last year we were approached by the AOC to investigate whether we could if we could run some sailing events and what sort of areas could we use," Mr Chisholm said.

"We put together a couple of options for the AOC."

Mr. Chisholm said although there would be fierce competition to host sailing events, the Whitsundays had several distinct advantages.

"Pioneer Bay is large enough to conduct several course areas all at the same time in traditionally very ideal sailing conditions — flat water, strong breezes, everything that yachties (sailors) like to see," he said.

Not a done-deal

Federal MP Ted O'Brien, who has been spearheading the federal government's involvement in the bid, said the announcement was exciting but there was a lot more work to do.

"We're not there yet and we've got to make sure we temper our celebration," Mr O'Brien said.

"But this puts us in the box seat to be hosting the 2032 Olympic Games."

The Member for Fairfax said the south-east had "demonstrable expertise" when it comes to hosting sporting events.


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8 hours ago, AustralianFan said:

It’s a good question as the Gabba has hosted Athletics in it’s distant past. That was many years ago and whether the dimensions of the current Gabba would meet current IAAF Athletics standards including long jump pits I do not know.

What is a telling factor was that the Gabba was not used for athletics in either of the Commonwealth Games in this region in 1982 nor 2018.

My understanding is that the main reason it’s crowd capacity is quite limited at around 35,000 for AFL football or cricket.

Land and space in the prime location region of the Gabba is at a premium, it is hemmed in all sides with no no room for expansion.  With the focus these days on affordable Games at a reduced cost I do not think they can afford to demolish buildings in this prime and expensive inner city real estate area to make way for an athletics warm-up track in 11 years time when there are better options.

Can anyone else shed some light on this?


pretty much. The gabba is hemmed in on all sides by major roads, a school and a building site for Cross River Rail (An underground metro expansion) 


Schools are in short supply, especially in the inner city area so any attempt to remove the school to allow the gabba to extend would almost cause riots. 

The old government printers site where the underground station for the metro is being built was not planned with the idea of having any form of warm up track and given they have already dug out the station box and commenced tunnelling for the dual tunnels needed for the lines any need to move the station to allow the construction of a warn up track would be a large cost

Any expansion of the gabba itself would pretty much shut down that entire part of the city - a major route to and from the CBD for quite a few people. From a traffic standpoint, the propiosed albion site had less downsides as it is not situated at the junction of major roads

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Brisbane Olympics 2032: AOC pushing to help kids beat obesity through schools and local sport

Credit/Source:  Cairns Post

Dan Knowles, The Courier-Mail

A Brisbane Olympics would be used to save a generation of kids from obesity and get them into organised sport, the AOC says as it unveils plans to target Queensland schools and local sports teams.

A Brisbane Olympics would be used to save a generation of kids from obesity and get them into organised sport, the AOC says, as it pushes State and Federal Governments to increase funding for grassroots competitions and bring back proper physical education programs to schools.

Despite Australia’s proud sporting reputation that helped Brisbane this week secure “preferred candidate” status with the IOC for the 2032 Olympics and Paralympics, AOC chief executive Matt Carroll said some schools had limited phys-ed classes to nothing more than a walk around the oval.

The AOC has warned all levels of government that publicity campaigns talking up exercise have not worked to get kids moving or turn back the obesity epidemic.

Mr Carroll said organised sport gave kids physical and mental confidence, taught them lessons like perseverance, winning and losing and how to bounce back from adversity.

One of the pillars of the pitch that convinced the IOC to talk exclusively to Brisbane about the 2032 Games was to “develop a healthier lifestyle and increase sports participation” in Queensland.

Mr Carroll said getting primary-aged kids into sport set them up for lifelong activity.

“It’s like anything else in life, it’s about setting habits early,” Mr Carroll said.

“And I’m not talking about recreation hours where they go for a walk around the block and that’s sadly, I’m told, what happens in some schools where ‘we’ll just go to the oval and sit’.

“That’s where it is important to get physical education teachers back into primary schools.

“That’s not sport, that’s not the discipline of sport.

“It’s about making the effort, it’s about striving, it’s about resilience, it’s about failing and picking yourself up and getting yourself going again. It’s not just the physical side.”

Mr Carroll said every dollar spent on community sport was stretched to $6 thanks to volunteers.

The State Government, which is a partner in the Games push, plans to tip millions of dollars in to building world-class sporting facilities to get Queensland kids off the couch and into community sport.

New sporting facilities are expected to be created at the same pace as city-building transport infrastructure.

Now the push is on to ensure the next generation of children live healthy and active lifestyles.

In Queensland, 24 per cent of children aged between 5 and 17 are considered overweight or obese.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said naming the southeast as an Olympic region would inspire the next generation of young Queenslanders to get involved in sport.

“Nothing could get the kids of Queensland moving like the excitement of an Olympic Games,” she said.

“We often talk about the hundreds of thousands of jobs, the huge windfall for businesses and the new infrastructure that an event like this would generate.

“But one of the greatest legacies of a Queensland Olympics could be a boom in grassroots sport.

“If we end up securing the Olympics, this is a great opportunity to get thousands more Queenslanders involved in sport.”

Queensland Sport CEO Peter Cummiskey said the prospect of a home Olympics would “be the making of Brisbane as a world-class city”.

“It’s the chance to realise dreams,” he said.

“Every Olympics has a story of a young person who dreamt of wearing gold.

“These things have a habit of encouraging interest in sport generally.”

Mr Cummiskey said Games would deliver worthwhile flow-one effects to the next generation – which is less likely to be active than previous ones.

“The push is on for more physical activity by more people in the community, not just in organised sports but in individualised recreation,” he said.

Mr Cummiskey said it was vital the three levels of government joined forces to invest in grassroots sport.

The Commonwealth Games, hosted on the Gold Coast in 2018, resulted in more than $2.3m being invested into sport and lifestyle programs across the country.

About 20,000 sports assets were gifted to more than 100 Queensland sporting organisations and communities.



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How Cairns could cash in on a Queensland Olympic bid win

Credit/Source: The Cairns Post

February 26, 2021 5:00am

by Matthew McInerney

HOSTING Olympic competition may be on the minds of sports fans, but Cairns Mayor Bob Manning is most excited about how a 2032 Games in the state’s southeast could supercharge international tourism to Tropical North Queensland. 

The International Olympic Committee has voted unanimously to give Brisbane’s bid for the 2032 Olympics “preferred host status”, putting the Sunshine State in the box seat to secure the global sporting showpiece.

Sports fans are clamouring to find a way Cairns and the region could host events despite the bulk of competition to be held between the Gold and Sunshine coasts, but Mr Manning is most excited by the potential for large-scale tourism – and the economic windfall it could generate.

“What we found with Sydney was we had enormous before and post-Olympic Games tourism,” he said.

“They didn’t want to go to Melbourne or Perth, they wanted to explore the Great Barrier Reef, and visit the rainforest.”

That meant more people visiting TNQ’s best sights and experiences, more tourists in restaurants and more money in the coffers of businesses.

Mr Manning questioned how hosting the Olympics could affect future state government funds for capital works, but said Cairns would throw open its doors to being a training base for athletes or teams.

“If they want to use Cairns, we will open it up,” he said.

The IOC’s Feasibility Assessment for a Brisbane Games lists Barlow Park as a potential venue for football preliminaries, which could allow Cairns to host Olympic competition.

State MP for Cairns Michael Healy said TNQ could be an ideal home for competition and training programs.



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Ann Wason Moore: Olympics to deliver fast train to Coast

It makes perfect sense, and unlike the light rail, it's not even controversial. And a new development means a fast train system could be coming to the Gold Coast sooner than you think, writes Ann Wason Moore.

Credit/Source: Gold Coast Bulletin

By Ann Wason Moore

And the winner of the 2032 Olympics is … public transportation!

While it might not yet be a done deal, it seems that Southeast Queensland is on the fast-track to be named host of the world’s greatest sporting event … and it’s set to be a gold rush for our region’s rail links.

Top of the list is the holy grail of rail … a fast train connecting the Gold Coast, Brisbane, Sunshine Coast and Toowoomba.

Seriously, skip the emotional sporting montage … come 2032, if Channel 7 can broadcast a slow-mo edit of this infrastructure construction I would be weeping - tears of joy.

Because this train has been a long time coming.

It makes such absolute sense, I cannot understand why we have waited so long. And unlike every other improvement to public transportation - looking at you, light rail - It’s not even controversial.

In fact, a report by the Australasian Railway Association found that 75 per cent of Gold Coast and 68 per cent of Sunshine Coast residents would ditch the car for a faster train.

Because, and here is where it gets tricky for our light rail haters, people love trains.

That’s not my opinion, it’s a fact backed up by multiple studies from Europe to America to Australia.According to European research, almost all daily transit users preferred train travel. “Younger people showed a particularly strong preference for rail. And the preference for train travel increased with education, but not income,” states the study.

Down at Sydney University, it’s different research but the same result - people don’t like buses anywhere near as much as they like trains and light rail.According to that study, the reasons for this are multiple: buses are slow, uncomfortable (both on-board and at the ironically named ‘shelters’), inconvenient, unpredictable, schedules are all but illegible and bus travel is socially stigmatised. That last factor is harsh, but as the apocryphal Margaret Thatcher quote states: “A man who, beyond the age of 26, finds himself on a bus can count himself as a failure.”


Now, not all of these criticisms are legitimate - express buses in a dedicated bus lane can be quite speedy, after all - but it really doesn’t matter, because it all comes down to perception.

If you thinks buses are slow and confusing, you’ll drive your own car. And that’s exactly what’s happening in our city.

The truth is that I can get on-board with some of the concerns from the anti-LR faction - of course over-development is not optimal for our city, although to link that solely to light rail seems overly simplistic to me. But I’m always derailed when I read yet another person explain that light rail is not necessary because we already have buses and they’re always empty.

Great argument, Einstein.

The reason buses are empty is because people hate buses … so they drive their cars instead, which is why we have crazy traffic, which is why we need better public transportation - like light rail.

After all, the buses that travel between the Gold Coast, Brisbane, Sunshine Coast and Toowoomba are also unpopular … so does that mean we don’t need fast rail?

Of course not. Successful rail systems can define a city, just look at New York’s subway … and I don’t see any fast food franchises named after the NYC bus system.

A city simply cannot reach the next level without proper public transportation - and that includes a mix of buses and trains, whether you love them or hate them.

To have a citywide network linked into a greater regional system would see all of southeast Queensland benefit - we would truly be setting the gold medal-standard.

So will this finally win over our city’s light rail haters? Ha ha ha ha ha ha. No.But you know what? Let’s just ride on without them. We have an Olympics to host.

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North Queensland Football boos Declan Carnes believes Townsville will benefit from Olympics bid

Credit/Source: Townsville Bulletin

February 25, 2021 9:43pm

By Matthew Elkerton

The 2032 Olympics could be the perfect opportunity to put Townsville on the world football map according to one of the region’s leading administrators.


THE 2032 Olympics could be the perfect opportunity to put Townsville on the world footballing map, according to North Queensland Football’s Declan Carnes. 

The city has been revealed as one of the prospective host cities for the football preliminaries in Brisbane’s Olympic bid.

The state-of-the-art Queensland Country Bank Stadium was included on a list of satellite venues, which also includes Cairns’ Barlow Park, for the preliminaries, with the gold medal match set for Brisbane’s Lang Park.

It was part of the feasibility study into the Brisbane 2032 bid which was yesterday put forward as the preferred bid by the International Olympic Committee.

Carnes suggested it was a no-brainer.

“That stadium is the perfect fit for football,” he said. “Only last year we were working on getting (English Premier League side) Crystal Palace in there.

“It is the perfect stadium for the round ball and an opportunity to host Olympic matches would be a perfect chance to beam regional Queensland, the Great Barrier Reef and all the North Queensland tourism attractions out to the world.”

NQ Football recently signed a memorandum of understanding with the North Queensland Cowboys for use of the newly-constructed Hutchinson Builders Centre. The high performance facility could provide a perfect location for a country to train out of during the Games duration.

Carnes said the region was still reeling from being left off the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup bid between Australia and New Zealand.

But he has put in two bids for Townsville to be a host city for international countries, using the high performance centre and the NQ Football facilities in Aitkenvale.

“When we are encouraging world class football teams to pick a place and train, this city is a standout with that facility and the stadium. We are head and shoulders above everything,” Carnes said.



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2032 Olympics: Inspired selection of Brisbane as preferred host is boost Australia has been yearning

Credit/Source: The Chronicle

By Julian Linden

February 26, 2021 - 5:00AM

Being the preferred host for the 2032 Olympics isn’t just a coup for Brisbane, it’s also an endorsement for commonsense and Australia’s knack for being able to get the job done.


The inspired selection of Brisbane as the preferred host of the 2032 Olympics and Paralympics is the shot in the arm for all Australians looking for some light at the end of the Covid tunnel.

Ignore the bleating that will come from all the usual sourpusses who still don’t have a clue what sport means to Australia’s national identity, because beating the likes of China and Qatar for the right to host the biggest event in the world is a win that everyone should be thumping their chests over.

This isn’t just a coup for Brisbane and Southeast Queensland, it’s also an endorsement for commonsense and Australia’s knack for being able to get the job done.

The genius behind Brisbane’s bid is Sydney lawyer John Coates, Australia’s most influential and respected Olympic powerbroker, but the beneficiaries of his connections will be generations of Australians from all walks of life.

Just think back to when Sydney hosted the Olympics. It’s been more than two decades on, but the memories and the legacies remain as fresh and as motivating as ever.

While Brisbane will be the centrepiece of the 2032 Games, events will also be shared around the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast as well as Toowoomba and Ipswich and Far North Queensland.

Other states will also get a slice of the Olympic pie, with NSW pencilled in to host soccer matches at the new football stadium at Moore Park.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg for NSW, which has already secured a series of major lead up events before 2032, including the world cross country championships, the world road cycling championships and the women’s basketball and soccer World Cups.

“You don’t have to be a sports fan to understand the profound impact hosting these major events can have on host cities, regional areas and the nation,” federal sports Minister Richard Colbeck said.

Australian athletes will also benefit, with funding to increase, not just for elite competitors chasing gold medals but also at grassroots levels with the government launching national health programs, tackling everything from obesity to suicide prevention to increased sporting participation, which will now all be linked to the 2032 Games.

“This would be a beautiful beacon on the hill for all Australians to look towards,” Australian Sports Commission Chair Josephine Sukkar said.

Even though the Games are 11 years away, the anticipation of their arrival can already help lift the Covid gloom.

“Things have been tough,” Sport Australia CEO Rob Dalton said.

“But we’ve said all along that sport will play a prominent role in lifting the nation’s energy and spirits again, and there are few events that can match the inspiration of a home Olympic and Paralympic Games.”


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World Athletics Championships: Cairns set to get nod as Sydney, Melbourne slow out of the blocks

Credit/Source: news.com.au

By Julian Linden

FEBRUARY 26, 20216:00AM

Tropical Cairns is threatening to pinch one of the world’s premier sporting events right from under the noses of Australia’s state capitals who have been caught napping by the speed of Brisbane’s bid to host the 2032 Olympics.

The Far North Queensland city has emerged as the early favourite to host the world athletics championships - one of the few mega sporting events that has never been held in Australia before - because the state governments underestimated how advanced Brisbane’s Olympic plans were.

The announcement that Brisbane is the official preferred partner for 2032 - which is Olympic speak for having the Games in the bag - is set to trigger a bidding war between the states for the biggest and best lead-up events.

And the undoubted jewel in the crown is the world athletics championships - which has never been staged anywhere in the southern hemisphere, let alone Australia.

Athletics Australia announced last year that it was considering a bid to host the event but News Corp can reveal that when a formal submission is made, it will be guaranteed to succeed.

The reason is because the sport’s international governing body has recently changed its rules on staging major events to ensure that all regions in the world get a turn at hosting the world championships. Under the new rotation system, Oceania and Africa will get 2025 and 2027.

International sources have said Australia is the unanimous choice for Oceania, regardless of whether it’s 2025 or 2027, setting the stage for a civil bidding war to land the big prize.

Sydney and Melbourne - who both love to claim to be Australia’s sporting capital - have been slow off the mark, according to sources, with Cairns and Perth both stealing a march on their richer big-city rivals.

The sticking point for Victoria and NSW is that the world athletics championships have to be held mid-year, in July or August, to fit in with the northern hemisphere summer.

That’s winter time in Australia, of course, when the NRL and AFL are in full swing and the biggest stadiums in Sydney and Melbourne are usually booked.

That’s also how Cairns, which has an international standard athletics track at Barlow Park, has managed to get out in front, with Perth also accelerating out of the blocks quicker than Sydney and Brisbane.

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Olympic Games: Qld businesses to get the first contracts

Credit/Source: The Courier-Mail

By Hayden Johnson

February 28, 2021 - 12:00AM

Hundreds of Queensland businesses would be contracted to help deliver the 2032 Games in a once-in-a-generation economic boon. 

Home-grown businesses would get the ‘first bite’ of Queensland’s billion-dollar Olympic Games cherry under a bold plan to deliver decades of economic benefits to the state. 

The Sunday-Mail can reveal the State Government will develop a Buy Queensland policy for the procurement of goods and services to deliver the 2032 Olympic Games if the International Olympic Committee names Brisbane as the successful bidder. 

It means hundreds of Queensland’s small and medium businesses would be contracted to help deliver the Games. 

Catering, IT systems, stadium infrastructure, scaffolding and landscaping are among the businesses required in the mammoth effort to host the global event. 

A procurement policy is expected to be modelled on the 2018 Commonwealth Games, which saw about 82 per cent of contracts awarded to Queensland businesses worth almost $1.7bn.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk pledged local businesses and jobs would come first if the state was required to host the world-class 2032 event.

“If we’re going to hold an Olympic Games in Queensland, local businesses and local jobs must come first,” she said. 

“An Olympic Games could deliver billions of dollars’ worth of contracts for Queensland companies and thousands of jobs for Queensland workers.

“From security contracts to catering, construction and civil works – an Olympic Games would deliver widespread benefits for our state.”

Ms Palaszczuk declared Queensland businesses and workers would “get the first bite at the cherry” where possible in delivering the event. 

“We would deliver a Queensland first procurement strategy to benefit local businesses in the Olympics supply chain,” she said.

Aussie Seafood owner Ian Hamilton said the Games would give Queensland a chance to promote its world-leading produce.

Mr Hamilton, whose family has worked in the industry since 1985, welcomed the chance to put his seafood on the world stage.

“It is the best in the world,” he said 

“What we have on our doorstep compared to some other countries is incredible.

“Just the range of the offering we have is something special.”

Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland Senior Advisor Gus Mandigora said preferred candidate status would offer “exciting opportunities” as long as Queensland businesses could benefit from pre-Games procurement.

“While the Olympics themselves are years away, the opportunities begin now,” he said.

“The accelerated infrastructure investment is a huge draw, as is the ability to spread the games beyond Brisbane.

“We welcome the newly stated legacy first approach which increases long-term benefits for the Games host and reduces the risk of stranded assets.”

Mr Mandigora said the potential economic benefits were enormous but warned they would not materialise on their own.

“What is essential is that small businesses throughout Queensland are engaged and given adequate procurement opportunities to deliver those projects,” he said. 

“Business and government need to work closely with the IOC to ensure that all these stated benefits actually accrue to Queensland and its small business community.”

The 2032 Olympic Games is expected to deliver two decades of stimulus. 

Economic modelling suggests it will create 130,000 jobs, a $20bn increase in international visitor expenditure - with half of that in regional Queensland - and $8.6bn in trade opportunities.

Ms Palaszczuk said the event would provide the state with the opportunity to show three billion people “just how beautiful and great Queensland is”.

“I make my absolute commitment that we will involve all of Queensland in this,” she said. 

“I want all of Queensland to share in that pride of having an Olympics on our doorstep.”

“If we look at how Sydney transformed and was put on the world map, there is exactly the same opportunity for Queensland and for Brisbane.”

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Queensland Olympic bid boosts state marketing


By Hayden Johnson

February 28, 2021 - 12:00AM

Footage of the Great Barrier Reef, coast beaches and our lifestyle has been sent around the world over the past 48 hours in ‘money-can’t-buy’ exposure.


Priceless coverage of Queensland has been beamed around the world following the International Olympic Committee’s announcement the state was its preferred place to host the 2032 Games.

Footage of the Great Barrier Reef, coast beaches and Queensland’s lifestyle has been sent around the world over the past 48 hours in “money-can’t-buy” exposure for the state.

Analysis of Google Trends data reveals New Zealand, the United Kingdom and Canada have been uncovered as the top countries searching for ‘Brisbane Olympics’ over the past week. 

In Australia, the search for ‘Brisbane Olympics’ spiked at 6am on Thursday. 

The jump coincides with the nation waking to the news that the IOC had agreed to start “targeted dialogue” about Queensland hosting the Games.

Queensland Tourism Industry Council CEO Daniel Gschwind said Thursday’s announcement was “absolutely a mood changer” for the embattled sector. 

“The moment this announcement was made reminded us all that there is a future beyond COVID,” he said. 

“We are so caught up in the trauma of COVID – particularly in the tourism space – that we needed that light on the horizon that gives us all renewed purpose and focus to work on a better future.

“The benefits started yesterday.”

Mr Gschwind said the IOC’s announcement of Queensland as a preferred candidate would create priceless exposure for the state.

“This will turbocharge any marketing effort because the promotion through editorial coverage and content delivered to viewers and listeners and readers … you cannot buy that,” he said. 

“This is not about a three-week event, it’s a 10-year positioning exercise.”


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Brisbane Olympics 2032: Australian Diving’s search begins for the next Cassiel Rousseau

Credit/Source: The Courier-Mail

By Andrew Dawson, Sports Journalist

February 26, 2021 - 9:01AM    Quest Newspapers

WANTED: Australian next diving star - no experience necessary, apply within.

That is the message from Diving Australia where the search is on to unearth Australia’s next generation of divers.

Diving Australia national pathway coach Vyninka Arlow said a Queensland Talent Program testing weekend would be held at the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre to bolster its talent pool on March 13-14. It is ideally timed to unearth Australia’s next diving talent ahead of the 2032 Olympics - likely to be staged in Brisbane and south east Queensland.

Teenage Olympian-in-waiting Cassiel Rousseau heads an impressive list of Queensland rookies making a splash in the sport, a state that has produced past world and Olympic medallists Michael Murphy, Loudy Wiggins (nee Tourky), Brittany Broben and Dom Bedggood.

Rousseau, a Cleveland District State High School alumni, encouraged any Queensland youngster contemplating the sport to take a chance.

“I am thankful to my mother for pushing me into the sport,’’ said Rousseau, who was initially reluctant participate in diving.

“It is good to try something different in life. It might or might not be for you, but you never know.’’

Rousseau said never in his wildest dreams did he think he would be on the cusp of Olympic selection after transition from the Robertson Gymnastic Academy just a few years ago.

Now he has qualified Australia for the 10m event in Tokyo and was a finger nail from qualifying for the Games.

“Not even I thought that (the 2021 Olympics) could happen. I did not even want to do diving,’’ he recalled.


Arlow said Diving Australia wanted to “widen our net as we search for our 2032 superstars,’’ she said.

“The come and try day is open to all kids, boys and girls, aged from 8 years plus,’’ she said.

“On the back of a very successful Commonwealth Games, Diving Queensland is very excited to be launching this new diving talent program,’’ Arlow said.

Aside from Redlands’ talent Rousseau, other young Queenslanders shining in the Diving Australia system included:

Kiarra Milligan: A 17 year old who represented Australia in the last junior world championship;

Samantha Olivier: The 16-year-old gymnastics talent who has only been diving for 18 months but who has already been invited to the National Squad Synchro camp;

Mathias Klar: Another recent gymnastics transfer athlete, the 17-year-old is doing big things despite being less than a year into the sport;

Jonah Turner: Turner, 14, moved from the Gold Coast to dive with Diving Australia at Chandler.

Alysha Koloi: Cavendish Road SHS student Koloi was an elite gymnast who represented Australia at level 10 before switching to diving where she won a bronze medal at the junior world championships and a silver medal at the 2020 Madrid Grand Prix.

For more information on the program visit: admin@diving.org.au or https://bit.ly/35WhoPb

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How three decades of pain for John Coates drove Brisbane's bid for 2032 Olympic Games

Credit/Source: ABC News Australia

By Tracey Holmes for The Ticket and ABC Sport

28 February 2021


John Coates does not need much of an introduction.

Key points:

  • Coates was a key figure in Brisbane's 1992 Summer Olympics bid, which lost out to Barcelona
  • The IOC has designated Brisbane as the preferred candidate city to host the 2032 Olympics
  • Coates says he is confident Brisbane can keep costs down if it does host the Games

He is recognised in global sporting circles as Australia's most influential sports administrator, possessing an understanding of how to wield power and play politics.

If politics was a chess game, Coates would be its grandmaster.

He has been Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) president since 1990, having only been challenged once for that role in 30 years.

Coates is also International Olympic Committee (IOC) vice-president, president of the International Council of Arbitration for Sport (ICAS) — which governs the powerful sports court known as the CAS — and chair of the coordination commission for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

But when Brisbane failed to win an IOC vote to host the 1992 Summer Olympic Games, which were awarded to Barcelona in 1986, Coates was by his own admission "badly hurt".

He had relocated his young family from Sydney to Brisbane ahead of the vote and was determined to succeed.

At the time, Coates was adept at navigating the domestic sports scene but may have been a little green when it came to IOC politics.

What he has learned in the years since turned the 1992 loss into a potential 2032 victory for Brisbane.

The only way the city can fail now is if the State or Federal governments renege on their early promises to commit to the delivery of the Games.

"I had become a vice-president of the AOC in 1985," Coates told The Ticket from Brisbane this week.

"I left my legal practice to come and work for (then-Brisbane lord mayor) Sallyanne Atkinson and run the Brisbane bid for '92.

"I moved my family up here in late '86 — the two kids at the time, another one a week away, and we came up here and I worked with Brisbane for the last year [of the bid].

"It's what I learned in Brisbane about the IOC and … I was very badly hurt by us losing, I thought we'd do better."

Spaniard Juan Antonio Samaranch was the IOC president at the time of the bid.

"Obviously we weren't going to do better than a Samaranch-led Barcelona and a very strong Paris [bid]," Coates said.

"But we learned a lot, which was then carried over for Melbourne and then Sydney."

While Melbourne lost to Atlanta in the race for the 1996 Olympics, Sydney beat Beijing 45-43 in the votes to win the right to host the 2000 Games.

But that success did not diminish Coates's sense of unfinished business for Brisbane.

It would be wrong to think any decision taken or appointment made on Coates's part since was anything less than strategic.

Even before his appointment as an IOC member in 2001, he had become one of the Olympic movement's most-listened-to voices as both AOC president and a rising power inside ICAS, where he had been a founding member since it was established in 1994.

In 2009, Coates became a member of the IOC's executive board. A year later, he was named ICAS president.

He became an IOC vice-president for the first time in 2013 and was appointed chair of the coordination commission for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

In 2014, he was appointed chair of the IOC's Legal Affairs Commission and in the following year met with South-East Queensland's Council of Mayors regarding a future Olympic bid.

In the years since, Coates chaired the Working Group for Future Games Elections, which decided on the new model of selection.

Cities interested in hosting the Games enter into a "dialogue" with the IOC, followed by a recommendation to move one bid city forward for "targeted dialogue" before "final negotiations" and a rubber-stamping "election" — where the only remaining city is put to a vote of IOC members to show their support.

This week, Brisbane's rivals were surprised when the IOC announced its Future Host Commission recommended only Brisbane be invited to the next phase.

Bids from Qatar, Germany, Hungary and Indonesia were nowhere near the level of development that had gone into Brisbane's bid and they are now left to consider whether they will remain in contention for the 2036 Olympics.

"There should be acknowledgement that … the AOC and the Brisbane City Council and the Council of Mayors started looking at this in 2015," Coates said.

Change of plans

When IOC president Thomas Bach visited Australia in 2015, he met with then-prime minister Tony Abbott, South-East Queensland's Council of Mayors representatives and others to float the idea of a Brisbane Games.

"Ours was originally a bid for 2028," Coates said.

"When Los Angeles was given that 11 years out, then we moved our focus to 2032.

"At the same time, the IOC changed its rules to say you don't have to be one city, you can have a region, you can have a couple of cities, so this is a bid that has a footprint over South-East Queensland from the Sunshine Coast to Brisbane and down to the Gold Coast.

"The way the new procedure works is that you move from being an interested party … to a targeted dialogue during which period you exclusively deal with the IOC to provide them with the answers to their questionnaires.

"The governments would give the various undertakings and guarantees, things that the Commonwealth government does regularly for big international events.

"If you comply with all of that, and if that's all sweet, then the IOC looks at that and at that point they will or will not make a recommendation to the full IOC session for a vote.

"The IOC session could be as early as Tokyo [in June]."

The question was asked why Brisbane cannot just be announced the winner now, since it would seem almost impossible to lose a vote in what is essentially a one-horse race.

"In everything the IOC does, you have to get 50 per cent," Coates explained.

"So, Thomas Bach will stand for re-election in the session in March but there still has to be 50 per cent who support him."

And no doubt there will be.

In the same way, Brisbane can be confident of getting more than 50 per cent of the vote. Bucking the system is not the done thing at the IOC.

Those in Australia might regard Brisbane's well-developed bid — perfectly suited to a new selection process — as a masterstroke. Those in other bid nations were caught out.

Questions will no doubt be asked.

"People can't cry foul about it," Coates said.

Cost savings a priority

Under the "new norm" Olympic Games Delivery Executive Steering Committee, which Coates has chaired since 2017, the IOC wants bids that can show reduced costs, using already-built facilities, and no white elephants.

"The IOC now doesn't want to see cities wasting money, they want to see cities using existing venues and if those venues are spread out a bit over a number of cities, and they're existing and you can make do with supplementing them with temporary [venues] then that's a better system," Coates said.

Lessons have also been learned from Tokyo, where savings were found by the IOC's coordination commission — chaired by Coates — in order to lessen the explosion of the budget following the year-long postponement because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We call it the Tokyo model," Coates said.

"When we realised that the postponement and COVID were going to cost the Japanese a lot extra, we separately then together sat down and identified something like 273 possible initiatives to reduce the cost of the Games.

"We didn't implement all of them, we still found I think something like another $280 million [in savings] or something like that.

"I chair this new norm commission and we're continuing to look at the lessons from Tokyo and there will be lessons for Brisbane.

"I very much look forward to sitting down and having a go at the budget we've got at the moment from the bottom up with the IOC's financial people and the Games department, and I back myself and the IOC to find a lot of savings."

Those with experience would be foolish not to back him.

Coates sees Brisbane 2032 as part of his legacy for many years of Olympic involvement.

"I am very, very anxious to finish my work up here and deliver these Games," he said.

It appears he already has.

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IOC Official Statement:


Credit/Source: IOC website

DATE: 24 FEB 2021

Under the IOC’s new, more targeted and flexible approach to future host elections, the two Future Host Commissions (Summer and Winter) are permanently open to exploratory, non-committal continuous dialogue with interested parties and National Olympic Committees (NOCs) on their ambitions to host future Games. The Future Host Commission gave the opportunity of a presentation and a discussion to the interested parties in the continuous dialogue, which resulted in meetings on 3, 8 and 9 February 2021. The Commission has also engaged with those NOCs that have chosen not to be in the continuous dialogue at this stage.

As noted during the reports of the Future Hosts Commissions to the IOC Session last year, the IOC is pleased to be in non-committal discussions with a number of interested parties about future hosting opportunities for either the Olympic Games or the Youth Olympic Games – some of which are simultaneously exploring the possibility of organising a Summer or a Winter edition or the Youth Olympic Games. This is yet further evidence of the importance of the Games and the Olympic values in today’s uncertain world.

The decision to advance the process was taken at this particular moment, given the uncertainty the world is facing right now. This uncertainty is expected to continue even after the COVID-19 health crisis is over. The IOC is considering seizing the momentum offered by the excellent project of Brisbane 2032 and the AOC, in this way, bringing stability to the Olympic Games, the athletes, the IOC and the whole Olympic Movement.

The Future Host Commission will now start a targeted dialogue with the Brisbane 2032 Committee and the AOC, and will report back to the IOC EB on the outcome of these discussions in due course. If all the requirements are met, the IOC EB can propose the election of the future host of the Games of XXXV Olympiad to the IOC Session. If the discussions are not successfully concluded, Brisbane 2032 will rejoin the continuous dialogue.

At the same time, the Future Host Commission will also maintain the continuous dialogue with the other interested parties, in order to further develop their excellent and promising projects, be it for the Olympic Games 2032 if the Targeted Dialogue with Brisbane 2032 and the AOC is not successful, or for the Olympic Games 2036 and other future Olympic events.

The main reasons why Brisbane 2032 was proposed for the targeted dialogue are:

- The very advanced Games concept, which is fully aligned with Olympic Agenda 2020 and using 80 to 90 per cent existing or temporary venues.

- The venue masterplan, which has already been discussed with International Sports Federations and the International Paralympic Committee.

- The high level of experience in hosting major international sports events.

- The favourable climate conditions for athletes in July and August, despite the current global challenges caused by climate change.

- The alignment of the proposed Games with South-East Queensland’s long-term strategy (“SEQ City Deal”, February 2019) to improve local transport infrastructure, absorb demographic change and promote economic growth.

- Australia’s sporting success throughout modern Olympic history. The last Games in Oceania were Sydney 2000, which would mean the Games returning to the continent 32 years later.

- The existing and planned transport infrastructure and experience in traffic management, which can adequately meet the demands of the Olympic Games and were successfully implemented for the Commonwealth Games in 2018.

- The existing hotel accommodation inventory, which already meets Games requirements.

- Strong support from all three levels of government, as confirmed on several occasions by highest-level representatives from the City of Brisbane, the Southeast Queensland Council of Mayors, the State of Queensland and the federal government.

- The strong public support and that of the private sector.

- Australia’s high scores on human development indices, in particular its great progress towards achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

In evaluating Brisbane 2032’s proposal, the IOC also took into consideration detailed information from independent third-party sources, including the World Bank, the International Labour Organization, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and numerous UN agencies including the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

Please find here the full IOC feasability assessment for Brisbane 2032.

IOC President Thomas Bach said: “According to the clear report of the Future Host Commission, the Brisbane 2032 project is fully aligned with Olympic Agenda 2020 and the new recommendations of Olympic Agenda 2020+5. It proposes sustainable Games in line with the region’s long-term strategy and using primarily existing and temporary venues. The commitment of Australia and Oceania to Olympic sports has grown remarkably since the fantastic Olympic Games Sydney 2000. This is why we see such strong public support. We decided to seize an opportunity to take to the next stage our discussions about returning 32 years later. In this way, we are also acknowledging the strength of the Australian team and other athletes from across the continent of Oceania at the Olympic Games over the past decades.”

Chair of the Future Host Commission for the Games of the Olympiad Kristin Kloster Aasen added: “We are delighted the IOC Executive Board agreed with the Commission’s recommendation to invite Brisbane 2032 to targeted dialogue. The IOC EB and the Commission noted the excellent progress that it has made, the strength of its proposition and the strategic opportunities it affords to the Olympic Movement. It meets all the criteria to be invited to move into the next stage.”

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Hosting the Olympics in SEQ would deliver infrastructure bonanza for Coast

Credit/Source: Sunshine Coast News

By Kate Donaghey

26 February 2021

Mayor Mark Jamieson is counting on an infrastructure bonanza for the Sunshine Coast if the Olympics comes to South East Queensland in 2032, with better transport connections, new facilities and more jobs.

But a leading property analyst has warned we need to prepare for the growth expected to flow from hosting the global games or face an escalation of the region’s housing crisis.

Brisbane and South East Queensland are considered almost certain to host the Olympics in 2032 after the International Olympic Committee endorsed Australia as the preferred bidder.

Mayor Jamieson, who has been pushing for the event with the Council of Mayors since 2015, said the Games would “supercharge” the Sunshine Coast by fast-tracking big projects and creating new ones.

“This will bring forward the development of our (Maroochydore) City Centre,” he said.

“I would like to think it will bring forward the development of a major convention and exhibition centre.

“Certainly it should ensure that our stadium is finalised. By 2032, we want to be a full stadium with seating for around 24,000 people.”

Mayor Jamieson said he wanted one of the lasting legacies of the Games to be better transport infrastructure for the Sunshine Coast.

“The Games will come and go and they’ll be fantastic … they’ll put Australia on show to the rest of the world,” he said.

“But but what’s really important is the focus on infrastructure and using that to bring forward … investment in transportation.

“That’s always been the objective of the Council of Mayors and that remains our objective.

“In 11 years time, there’ll be at least another 1 million people move to South East Queensland, probably more, and that requires much improved transportation and that’s our objective.”

Mayor Jamieson said the rail duplication to Nambour should be on the list as well as “outstanding connectivity” between the Sunshine Coast and Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Toowoomba, Ipswich and Moreton Bay.

He said more people would move to the Coast for jobs and lifestyle, and the exposure of our region beaming into television screens around the world was something money could not buy.

“We are seeing incredible growth at the moment as a consequence of the COVID crisis and people seeing the Sunshine Coast as a very safe area to be.

“Adding the Olympic Games to that I think will prove the place as being more attractive to people and we will see more people come here.”

However, Direct Collective chief operating officer Mal Cayley said the Olympics would be a double-edged sword, bringing jobs and growth, but exacerbating an already worrying housing crisis.

Mr Cayley said the COVID pandemic had accelerated the current housing crisis he had predicted would happen by three to five years.

He said the Olympics would also shower the city in new infrastructure a decade ahead of time, which would create more jobs and attract more people who would have to compete in an already under-supplied housing market.

Mr Cayley warned of an “extended housing crisis” that could last for years, with people living in tent cities, unless all stakeholders came together to find solutions before the next wave of growth.

He said the Sunshine Coast was suffering the “most significant undersupply” of housing of any top 10 city in Australia “probably in history”.

“Unless we start immediate discussions and get solutions in place, what we could see are little tent cities popping up around the place because we need to house people in the short-term,” he said.

“It could be two to three years at crisis level.”

“We need to start discussions at every level to find solutions,” he said, adding that vocal minority groups that were opposed to development should not be allowed to drive the agenda.

“We don’t want over-development but we need a sophisticated response to the challenge.”

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4 hours ago, ulu said:

I thought Australia would try to host the World Athletics Championships in the lead up to 2032 but I was thinking it'd be Brisbane or the Gold Coast not Cairns. 

in the host city contract they are obliged to hold world championships in the Olympic sports in the lead up the games so brisbane will host it anyway

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