The Olympics are returning Down Under

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Brisbane will host the 2032 summer Olympics after the International Olympic Committee approved the recommendation of its executive board.

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Photo: AFP

Brisbane becomes the third Australian city to be awarded the Games after Melbourne in 1956 and Sydney in 2000.

Its selection means Australia becomes only the second country in the world, after the United States, to stage summer Olympic Games in three different cities.

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Queensland’s state capital had been the preferred host, chosen in February, and had earned the nod of the executive board last month.

Several cities and countries had publicly expressed an interest in staging the 2032 Games including Indonesia, Hungary’s capital Budapest, China, Qatar’s Doha and Germany’s Ruhr valley region.

But in a new process adopted by the IOC that does not openly pit cities against each other, Brisbane had already moved ahead of any rival back in February, having been selected as a “preferred host”.

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The city’s bid had earned repeated praise from the IOC for its high percentage of existing venues, support from all levels of government and the private sector, experience in organising major events and its favourable weather, among other things.

A commitment in April from the Australian government to split the infrastructure costs 50-50 with local government allowed Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk to forward the necessary financial guarantees to the IOC.

International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach (R) and president of the Australian Olympic Committee John Coates (L) attend a press conference in Brisbane on May 6, 2019.

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IOC president Thomas Bach (right) with Australian Olympic Committee president John Coates.
Photo: AFP

The state of Queensland hosted the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

Awarding the Games to Australia was also a nod to senior IOC member John Coates, a current IOC vice president, and one of the closest allies to IOC president Thomas Bach.

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Coates, who reaches an IOC age limit of 74 in 2024 and will be forced to leave the organisation, had unsuccessfully attempted to land the 1992 Games for Brisbane that eventually were awarded to Barcelona.

The IOC overhauled its bidding rules in 2019 to reduce costs and make the process easier for cities. There are no official candidate cities campaigning ahead of the vote as has been the case in the past.

Instead, the IOC picks a preferred host after talks with all interested cities and then puts that city to a vote at its session.

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Tokyo is hosting the postponed 2020 Olympics this week and Paris will stage the 2024 Games. Los Angeles has been awarded the 2028 summer Olympics.

– Reuters

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