Brisbane takes the box seat for Games 2032


Brisbane close to hosting Olympics 2032 Image: City of Brisbane

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Board (EB) decided on June 10th to propose Brisbane (Australia) 2032 to the upcoming International Olympic Committee (IOC) Session as host for the Games of the XXXV Olympiad as their bid was “irresistible”. The decision followed a recommendation by the Future Host Commission for the Games of the Olympiad. The IOC Members will vote at the 138th Session in Tokyo (Japan) on July 21st, 2021.

The ‘IOC’ stated that the Executive Board’s decision was based on a report by the Future Host Commission, which has made a detailed analysis of the Brisbane 2032 project in recent months.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is a not-for-profit, civil, non-Governmental, international organization made up of volunteers which is committed to building a better world through sport. It redistributes more than 90 percent of its income to the wider sporting movement, which means that every day the equivalent of USD 3.4 million goes to help athletes and sports organizations at all levels around the world.

The 2032 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XXXV Olympiad, is a forthcoming international multisport event expected to take place in Brisbane, Australia.

The mission of the Future Host Commission for the Games of the Olympiad is to explore, create and oversee interest in future Games of the Olympiad and Summer Youth Olympic Games. The responsibilities of the Future Host Commission for the Games of the Olympiad include: Reporting regularly to the IOC Executive Board.

The ‘IOC’ further stated that this unanimous decision by the Executive Board is a credit to the years of work carried out by Brisbane 2032, the Australian Olympic Committee and their partners, to test every aspect of the project.

The viability of the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic project is demonstrated by its core strengths:

  • A passion-driven offer from a sports-loving nation that has sent athletes to every edition of the modern Olympic Games and nearly every edition of the Olympic Winter Games and Paralympic Games;
  • A strong masterplan using 84 percent existing and temporary venues, set against a spectacular backdrop. The remaining venues will be delivered well in advance and irrespective of the Games to meet the needs of a fast-growing population;
  • Strong support from all three levels of Government, the Australian population and the private sector;
  • A commitment to embrace the principles of Olympic Agenda 2020 and 2020+5, and to create an Olympic project to achieve lasting and meaningful legacies for the local communities;
  • Alignment with existing strategies to accelerate progress towards long-term socio-economic goals, as well as the goals of the Olympic Movement, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines on physical activity.
  • A clear Olympic and Paralympic vision, designed to be as inclusive as possible, with a ‘10+10+’ legacy concept spanning 10 years before and 10 years after the Games;
  • A commitment to sustainability and climate-positive and athlete-centric Games; and
  • A balanced, fully privately-funded budget and an independent impact study that clearly demonstrates the social, environmental and economic benefits of holding the Games.

This impact study of the potential benefits of hosting the Games in Brisbane and South East Queensland, commissioned by Brisbane 2032, estimated that the event would bring USD 6.1 billion in value to the State of Queensland, and USD 13.4 billion to Australia. These values were calculated by assessing factors such as health, volunteering and resident benefits, as well as qualitative benefits such as community infrastructure and behavioral change to protect the environment and reduce carbon emissions.

Remarked IOC President Thomas Bach, “Sport is seen by many Governments around the world as essential to the long-term development of their countries and regions. The Brisbane 2032 Olympic project shows how forward-thinking leaders recognize the power of sport as a way to achieve lasting legacies for their communities.”

Stated Kristin Kloster Aasen, Chair, Future Host Commission for the Games of the Olympiad, “Our Commission has worked closely with Brisbane 2032 through a collaborative partnership to explore how their vision, concept and legacy plans for the Olympic and Paralympic Games could align with social and economic development plans for the City and the region. The new approach to electing Olympic hosts has enabled this project to be enhanced as part of a two-way conversation, honoring our commitment that the Olympic Games should adapt to the needs of the host and their population, and not the reverse.”

By January 2021, it had become clear Brisbane 2032 was in a very advanced state of preparations and presented an opportunity in a very uncertain time. An IOC Feasibility Assessment confirmed that Brisbane 2032 met all the criteria to open a Targeted Dialogue.

The Executive Board’s decision to open a Targeted Dialogue 2032 on February 24th, 2021 and invite Brisbane as a Preferred Host, followed a recommendation from the Future Host Commission, and was endorsed by IOC Members at the virtual 137th Session in March. It reflected the impact of the global pandemic, and advice received from economists that over the next few years the world would face an uncertain economic future, and large organizations should move swiftly to stabilize their long-term positions.

Targeted Dialogue allows the IOC to help Preferred Hosts to optimize their projects in many areas, such as the venue masterplan, economics of the Games and legacy and sustainability. The process culminated in Brisbane’s Value Proposition being presented as a Final Submission in response to the IOC’s Future Host Questionnaire in May.

Under the IOC’s new flexible approach to future host elections, the two Future Host Commissions (Summer and Winter) are permanently open to exploratory, non-committal discussions with Cities, regions and countries, and their respective National Olympic Committees (NOCs), on their ambitions to host the Olympic and Youth Olympic Games.

Continuous dialog is ongoing with other interested parties in order to further develop their excellent and promising projects for the future.

‘The Guardian’ stated that the decision still needs to be put to a vote of IOC members in Tokyo on July 21st, but with no other Cities left in contention it will almost certainly be a rubber-stamping exercise. If confirmed it will be the third time an Australian City has hosted the Olympic Games after Melbourne in 1956 and Sydney in 2000.

Bach said Brisbane had impressed his organization because it presented a “clear vision for a sustainable and feasible Olympic Games” which was in tune with the IOC’s vision. Bach also cited its climate in July and August as well as the “great support from the public and across the political spectrum”.

He added, “All these together made it somehow irresistible for the Future Host Commission as well as for the Executive Board. But we are not there yet. It’s in the hands of the IOC members to vote on July 21st.”

‘The Guardian’ further stated that several countries had expressed an interest in the 2032 Games, including Hungary, China, Qatar and Germany. But in a new process which no longer openly pits Cities against each other, Brisbane took the superior position in February when it became the IOC’s preferred bidder.

The bid, which plans to use 84 percent existing and temporary venues to cut down on costs, also benefited from a pledge from Australia’s Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, that the Federal Government would cover half the costs, adding contributions from State and local Governments.

However, Bach rejected claims that the IOC had not been transparent in awarding the Games, and denied that there had been a conflict of interest given his Vice-President, John Coates, is from Australia – “There are very strict rules in the IOC, and these rules are closely monitored by our Chief Compliance and Ethics Officer. And as a result of this, John Coates has not taken part in any discussion or any decision.”

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