Revisit Gabba rebuild: Australia Olympic body


Australian Olympics join doubts about Gabba plans Image: Queensland Government

The Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) has welcomed a review by the Queensland Government into the rebuilding of Brisbane’s Gabba cricket ground as the centerpiece of the 2032 Olympics.

‘THE STRAITS TIMES’ stated that the rebuilding of the stadium to host the ceremonies and athletics at Australia’s third Summer Olympics, after Melbourne 1956 and Sydney 2000, was part of a A$2.7 billion (S$2.37 billion) redevelopment of the Woolloongabba (Queensland, Australia) suburb from which it gets its name.

Sydney (Australia)-based the Australian Olympic Committee is the National Olympic Committee responsible for developing, promoting and protecting the Olympic Movement in Australia.

The 42,000-capacity Brisbane Cricket Ground, commonly known as the ‘Gabba’, is a major sports stadium in Brisbane, the capital of Queensland, Australia. The nickname ‘Gabba’ derives from the suburb of Woolloongabba, in which it is located.

The 2032 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XXXV Olympiad and also known as Brisbane 2032, is an upcoming international multisport event scheduled to take place between July 23rd to August 8th, 2032 in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.

The ‘Gabba’, in downtown Brisbane, was built in 1895 and was last redeveloped in 2005.

‘THE STRAITS TIMES’ further stated that in one of his first acts as the new Queensland Premier in mid-December, Steven Miles announced that the redevelopment plan would be paused until after a review that is scheduled to report on March 18th.

Miles, an enthusiastic backer of the project, recently conceded that he had failed to convince the Queensland public of its necessity and suggested an alternative plan to a full rebuild might end up being a better option.

The President of the Australian Olympic Committee, Ian Chesterman, said recently that the Australian Olympic Committee fully supported the review of the Gabba rebuild, suggesting it did not fit with International Olympic Committee (IOC) expectations of Host Cities in the modern era.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is a non-Governmental sports organization based in Lausanne, Switzerland. Founded in 1894 by Pierre de Coubertin and Demetrios Vikelas, it is the authority responsible for organizing the modern Olympic Games.

Chesterman sent out a statement which read, “The IOC’s New Norm process is designed to ensure the Games are both affordable and sustainable, with a strong preference for the use of existing or temporary facilities. We believe there are other, more creative solutions than rebuilding the ‘Gabba’ for the Games which provide a legacy for our sports and even greater access for fans to an exceptional Olympic and Paralympic Games. We will put these ideas to the review committee.”

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has a new process for selecting Host Cities called the ‘New Norm’. The new process is based on three pillars: Flexibility, sustainability and cost-effectiveness. The motto is ‘The Games adapt to the region, the region does not adapt to the Games’.

The New Norm includes 118 reforms and turnkey solutions, such as website and ticketing solutions. The New Norm also provides more flexibility in designing the Games to meet long-term development plans. It also ensures that Cities seeking to host the Games receive more support and assistance from the Olympic Movement (help build a better world by educating young people through sports).

Brisbane in 2021 was granted the right to stage the Olympics under the New Norm process, a more targeted bidding procedure aimed at saving hundreds of millions of dollars for the Host Cities and increasing long-term sustainability.

Some 80 percent of the venues for the 2032 Games are already in place, with the ‘Gabba’ redevelopment and a Federal Government-funded A$2.5 billion arena to host swimming the only two major construction projects planned.

Meanwhile, the Ukrainian Olympic Committee (UOC) has asked the IOC to investigate the participation of Russian and Belarusian athletes in the Paris Olympics following alleged breaches of neutrality on Feb 7th.

The UOC President Vadym Gutzeit wrote in a letter to the IOC chief Thomas Bach published on its website on February 7th, “I would like to address to you again on the issue of potential participation of AIN athletes (neutral individual athletes) with Russian and Belarusian passports – in particular those who compete in wrestling, in the Olympic Games Paris 2024 and their adherence to the IOC recommended conditions of participation.”

In December 2023, the IOC said the Russians and Belarusians who qualify for the Olympics could take part in individual events as neutrals without their national flags, emblems or anthems.

The athletes will need to meet certain conditions that include that they have not actively supported the war on Ukraine.

They also cannot be contracted to the Russian or Belarusian military or the national security agencies.

“We should like to address the IOC with a request to pay special attention to these issues”, Mr Gutzeit added, attaching a list of athletes who “in our opinion” do not meet the neutrality requirements from the IOC.

The 2024 Summer Olympics, officially the Games of the XXXIII Olympiad and commonly known as Paris 2024, is an upcoming international multisport event scheduled to take place from July 26th to August 11th in France, with Paris as the main Host City and 16 other Cities spread across metropolitan France, plus one subsite in Tahiti – an island within the French overseas country and overseas collectivity of French Polynesia.

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