IT’S OFFICIAL. The eyes of the world will be on the Sunshine State in 2032, with Brisbane formally declared as host of the Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games set to take place in just over a decade.
Hundreds of Queenslanders gathered at thirteen “live party sites” across the state on Wednesday night to watch the historic moment Brisbane was officially announced as host city for the 2032 event.
Loud cheers erupted and green and gold fireworks lit up the sky as the International Olympic Committee confirmed Brisbane’s bid, which encompasses the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast, had been successful.
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Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, Brisbane Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner and Australian Olympic Committee President John Coates were in Tokyo for the exciting announcement, while Prime Minister Scott Morrison watched on remotely with the rest of the country.
“The International Olympic Committee has the honour to announce that the games of the 35th Olympiad are awarded to Brisbane, Australia” IOC President Thomas Bach said live from Tokyo.
The historic announcement was made after Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and AOC President John Coates this afternoon made their final pitch for the games.
“I assure you Brisbane and Australia understand the Olympic Games are not won, they are served. Service to the Olympic ideas is service to your sport, your competitions, your country, your community, to your family,” Mr Coates told IOC members.
He referred to Brisbane as “the together games” and said if successful, they would be putting the Olympics into “diligent, grateful and enthusiastic hands”.
While Prime Minister Scott Morrison, speaking via video link, declared “we know what it takes to deliver a successful and safe Games in Australia”.
“You can draw confidence from Australia’s track record of delivering major sporting and global events that the Brisbane Games will be safe and secure in our hands,” Mr Morrison said.
In what was described as the Premier’s most important pitch of her political career, Ms Palaszczuk declared Queensland as the perfect location for the Olympics.
“I see 2032 as the final stage of the maturing of a stunning place on our planet,” The Premier said.
“We have a saying about Queensland – it’s beautiful one day and perfect the next… It speaks of optimism, faith, hope and trust… It means we believe our best days are well and truly still ahead of us,” she said.
“As you have seen, our great home is a place of natural beauty. There is a reason we are called the sunshine state – we are spoiled with blue skies and warm days, especially during Games time.”
Ms Palaszczuk continued by saying that “events would be conducted amongst some of the most stunning backdrops in the world”.
“Including sun-drenched beaches, clear, clean ocean waters, tropical rain forests and of course the Great Barrier Reef,” she said.
A final vote of 87 IOC members was then held in Tokyo this evening, with the majority of members favouring Brisbane as host city for the 2032 Olympics.
“We’re going to put it on, and this is a great ray of hope for us at a time when I think Australians really need it,” The Prime Minister said following the announcement.
“Enjoy the moment… it’s a great time for the city of Brisbane, another Olympic city in Australia – how good!” Mr Morrison said.
While you could not wipe the smile off the Premier’s face.
“This is about all of the future… it’s about the young people sitting at home tonight, dreaming that impossible dream… But these dreams can come true,” a beaming Ms Palaszczuk said.
According to the state’s master plan for the Games, 28 sports will be played across a total of 32 venues in Brisbane, the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast.
The Gold Coast will play a major role, with fourteen different events set to take place across seven facilities.
Some of the Olympic sports include weightlifting, volleyball, beach volleyball, judo, wrestling, golf, triathlon, aquatic (swimming marathon) and football prelims.
While Paralympic sports include powerlifting, sitting volleyball, football 5-a-side, boccia, triathlon and wheelchair rugby.
Athletes will fly into the sunshine state and be housed at villages in Brisbane, the Sunshine Coast and the Gold Coast, with a new athlete’s village set to be constructed in Robina.
Other existing venues on the Gold Coast that will be put to use include Cbus Stadium, the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre, the Gold Coast Sports and Leisure Centre, the Coomera Indoor Sports Centre, Royal Pines Golf Resort and the Broadwater Parklands.
Speaking from the Olympic live site at the Gold Coast’s Kurrawa Park this evening, Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate said the Games will be life-changing for the city.
“We got it Gold Coast … we got it,” Mayor Tom Tate said.
“I have long said that the Olympics and Paralympics is about two outcomes… great sporting rivalry and the acceleration of major city-building infrastructure for our incredible Gold Coast.
“I will join with councillors in focusing on what we can leverage for our residents, whether it is roads, bridges, green bridges, the heavy rail extension and light rail to the airport.
“As Freddie Mercury famously sang: I want it all .. and I want it now.’”
Mayor Tate said he would now meet with council to formulate a strategy to “outline the legacy opportunities to flow from tonight’s announcement”.
“We are Team Gold Coast… all 15 of us in council. We have achieved so much,” he said, before crediting the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games for the win.
“It is really the success of the 2018 Commonwealth Games that was the springboard to what has occurred tonight,” the Mayor said.
“In my view, the SEQ region – and all Australians – can feel proud of what was achieved in 2018.
“Now, it’s time to reimagine what 2032 will be for our state and country.”
Mayor Tate confirmed Council has offered former GOLDOC CEO Mark Peters a “strategic advisor’s role” as part of the city’s legacy program for 2032.
“Mark can have jersey No 16 and join our council, working with the administration, to help us maximise the legacy opportunities to flow from 2032,” the Mayor said.
“A key priority is for our city’s economy to diversify through greater employment in film, marine, health and knowledge, sports, events and tourism.”
The cost of hosting the Olympics in Queensland is estimated to be around $5 billion, while a further $10 billion will be spent on infrastructure.
However, it’s predicted hosting the games will have an economic benefit of about $17 billion nationally, with around $8 billion injected into the sunshine state alone.
It will be the third time Australia has hosted a Summer Olympic Games, after Melbourne in 1956 and Sydney in 2000.