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Brisbane set to be named 2032 Olympics host next month

A representation of the Olympic rings floats on a raft
The Olympic rings float in water in the Odaiba section of Tokyo, the host of the 2021 Olympic Games. Brisbane, Australia, is set to be announced as the host site for the 2032 Olympics.
(Eugene Hoshiko / Associated Press)

Brisbane, Australia, could be officially named host of the 2032 Summer Olympics when the IOC meets in Tokyo next month.

IOC president Thomas Bach said after an executive board meeting Thursday that Brisbane can be awarded hosting rights at a July 21 meeting ahead of the Tokyo Olympics.

The Australian city’s victory already looked certain after it was named the preferred candidate in February without a formal opponent.

Around 100 IOC members will meet in Tokyo two days ahead of the Games’ opening ceremony.

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Though Bach said the outcome was “in the hands” of the members, they typically rubber stamp all recommendations coming from the leadership.

Bach praised Australia as a sport-loving country with strong support from layers of government in the city of Brisbane, the state of Queensland and at the federal level.

“All this together I think made it somehow irresistible,” the IOC leader said.

Brisbane would be the first Olympic host selected unopposed under a new system put in place to streamline bid campaigns to make them less costly and decrease the risk of vote buying. Tokyo’s campaign and 2016 host Rio de Janeiro‘s bid were both tainted by corruption allegations that are part of ongoing criminal investigations.

The Brisbane bid has been led by IOC vice president John Coates, who two years ago oversaw updating the bidding process at Bach’s invitation.

Its quick progress as the IOC’s clearly preferred option has raised questions about possible conflicts of interest for Coates. He is viewed as one of Bach’s closest allies and also leads the IOC’s oversight of preparations for the postponed Tokyo Olympics.

Bach cited the IOC’s “strict rules,” which were monitored by ethics and compliance officials.

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Still, Brisbane’s rapid selection this year sidelined officials in Germany, Hungary, Indonesia and Qatar who had been in talks with Olympic officials about shaping bids.

In a ceremony marked by the kitsch of drag queens and performers in oversize kangaroo costumes, and climaxing with fireworks roaring from Olympic Stadium to Sydney Harbor, International Olympic Committee President Juan Antonio Samaranch brought the Sydney Games to a close Sunday by declaring them the best ever.

That dialogue will continue with a “pool of interested parties” to host the Olympics in 2036 or 2040, Bach suggested.

“The future of the Games looks bright,” Bach said.

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Australia last hosted the Olympics in 2000, with the popular success of the Sydney Games. Coates also led those bidding and organizing committees.

The 2024 Olympics will be held in Paris, with the 2028 Games in Los Angeles.


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