Encouraging words from Thomas Bach as Brisbane joins 2032 Olympic field

If Brisbane improved its transport network, “would lead to, I think, a pretty strong candidature” for the 2032 Olympics, according to the IOC president.

Thomas Bach speaks at the Australian Olympic Committee annual general meeting in Sydney, Australia, on Saturday.   -  AP

Brisbane is using a meeting of world sport movers and shakers in the nearby Gold Coast to start pushing a possible bid for the 2032 Summer Olympics.

With the next two Olympics in Europe and North America, the 2032 Games should logically take place in the Asia-Pacific region. Because Paris, in 2024 and Los Angeles, in 2028, were selected unopposed in 2017, the International Olympic Committee also needs a healthy slate of candidates to restore faith in the process.

The IOC will not select a host until 2025, but already several cities have bids in various stages of public development. Jakarta, which hosted the last Asian Games, has officially applied. Mumbai has expressed interest.

In February, the IOC encouraged a joint bid from the two Koreas, to continue the rapprochement Olympic officials believe was initiated at the Winter Games in Pyeongchang in 2018 where the two Koreas marched under a common flag. The Australian state of Queensland hosted the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast in 2018.

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With the five day SportAccord convention, which brings together the international sports federations, under the patronage of the IOC, opening in the surf resort on Sunday, it is the turn of the State capital, Brisbane, to push to host a major event. IOC president Thomas Bach repeated in Sydney on Saturday that he does not want “too many losers” among the candidates, suggesting that some cities might be discouraged from continuing their bids.

Bach, who is expected in Gold Coast on Tuesday, was in Sydney, Olympic host in 2000, at the invitation of John Coates, president of the Australian Olympic Committee.

Bach said Brisbane’s feasibility study perfectly reflected the requirements of the IOC, particularly regarding the use of existing facilities.

‘Yes we want the Games!’

He told a press conference in Sydney on Sunday that if the region improved its transport network, “would lead to, I think, a pretty strong candidature.”

“The first stage is for the Australians and for the Queenslanders, to say ‘yes we want to be a host to the entire world’,” he added.

On Monday, Bach will be in Brisbane where he will meet the mayor and visit the facilities.

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Bach became IOC president in 2013 and, under current IOC rules, he can serve a maximum of two terms, the first of eight years, the second of four years. If he is re-elected in 2021, the 2025 would come at the end of his reign.

“It is possible the decision for 2032 would be taken as one of the last big decisions of his 12 year presidency. In a way the 2032 Host City could define Bach’s legacy,” said a consultant on condition of anonymity.

Gold Coast hosted the Commonwealth Games in 2018. Photo: Getty Images

 

The selections of Paris and Los Angeles came after numerous cities, including Budapest, Rome, Calgary, Boston and Hamburg, expressed interest then dropped out, several after being officially accepted as candidates.

The problem is continuing in finding a host for the 2026 Winter Games. The IOC will choose between Milan/Cortina and Stockholm/Are on June 24 after local opposition forced Sion in Switzerland and Graz/Schladming (Austria) to withdraw. “The current batch of high profile cities/nations expressing interest for 2032 has been quietly and efficiently orchestrated by the IOC to help counter the received wisdom that the bid process is in trouble,” said the consultant.

“It is still very early in the 2032 bid process as technically the decision does not need to be made until 2025 so normally you would not start the bid process until 2023,” the consultant added. “However the process is changing with greater concerns on making it easier and cheaper and more transparent for cities to express interest in bidding and stay in the race.”