Cheers, fireworks as Brisbane awarded 2032 Olympics

Cheers, fireworks as Brisbane awarded 2032 Olympics

IOC president Thomas Bach announced Brisbane as 2032 Olympics host
International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach announces Brisbane as the host city of the 2032 Olympics. (Photo: AFP/Toru Hanai)

TOKYO: Brisbane was awarded the 2032 Olympics on Wednesday (Jul 21), triggering celebratory fireworks as it became the third Australian city to host the Summer Games after Melbourne and Sydney.

International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach confirmed the widely expected result after a vote at the IOC session in Tokyo.

"The International Olympic Committee has the honour to announce that the Games of the 35th Olympiad are awarded to Brisbane, Australia," Bach said.

The announcement was greeted by cheers from the Brisbane delegates in Tokyo, while fireworks lit up the skies above the Australian city thousands of kilometres away.

Tokyo Olympics 2032 Host Brisbane
Cheers from the Brisbane delegates in Tokyo after the announcement that the Australian city was awarded the 2032 Olympics. (Photo: AP)

Brisbane's victory looked a certainty after it was unanimously proposed as the single candidate for 2032 by the IOC's 15-strong executive board in June.

"It's a historic day not just for Brisbane and Queensland, but for the entire country," said Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

"Only global cities can secure the Olympic Games, so this is fitting recognition for Brisbane's standing across our region and the world."

Australia has already hosted the Olympics twice, in Melbourne in 1956 and Sydney in 2000, widely considered one of the most successful Games in recent history.

READ: Brisbane ready to 'gamble' on 2032 Olympics

Hundreds of people packed Brisbane's Southbank riverside precinct for an announcement viewing party, watching the city's final pitch to the IOC projected on a big screen.

APTOPIX 2032 Host Brisbane
Fireworks lit up the skies above Brisbane after the announcement that the Australian city was awarded the 2032 Olympics. (Photo: AP)

Rhys Cush, 24, one of those in the masked-up crowd, said that he hoped to work at the 2032 Olympics and also attend as a spectator.

"I'm an extremely big fan. I even watched the softball this morning," he told AFP. "I'm super excited about having the Olympics coming here."

Lauren Granger, 42, said she hoped that the 2032 Olympics would recreate the buzz of Sydney's successful 2000 Games.

"We flew down to Sydney and we were at the Olympics and it was just such a great experience for our family," she said.

"That was 20 years ago, so we'd love to be able to relive that in 2032 with our kids."

READ: Japan win softball opener as Games 'of hope' begin

"TOO MANY LOSERS"

Home to about 2.3 million people and bookended by shimmering coastal sands, Brisbane is seen as more laid-back and less cosmopolitan than Australia's sprawling southern cities.

Venues will be spread across Brisbane and nearby towns in Queensland state including the Gold Coast, which hosted the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

There are hopes that the Olympics will boost Brisbane's profile, making it more attractive to tourists who tend to use it as a jumping-off point for attractions like the Great Barrier Reef.

A report in newspaper the Australian said that the Games will cost A$5 billion (US$3.7 billion), with the opening and closing ceremonies taking place at a redeveloped Gabba cricket ground.

READ: Schooling says less pressure at Tokyo Olympics after 'rollercoaster' of past few years

The decision means that the IOC has now secured hosts for the next three Summer Olympics, with Paris holding the event in 2024 and Los Angeles organising the 2028 Games.

The awarding of the 2032 Olympics was the first to take place with a new election method adopted in June 2019 in an attempt to counter application fees and a lack of serious bids.

For the 2024 Games, Bach complained that the process had "produced too many losers", after Rome, Hamburg and Budapest all pulled out of the running.

Bidding cities have become increasingly hard to come by in recent years as costs balloon and the economic benefits of holding the Games remain unclear.

The vote took place two days before the troubled Tokyo Olympics, which will start behind closed doors on Friday after a year's delay because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As Singapore’s Olympics Network, Mediacorp will be bringing you the widest coverage of Tokyo 2020. Go to mediacorp.sg/tokyo2020 for more details.

Source: AFP/kg

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