By Adedapo Adesanya
Brisbane has been awarded as the host of the 2032 Olympics, becoming the third Australian city to host the Summer Games after Melbourne and Sydney.
The selection of Brisbane was announced on Wednesday by the president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Mr Thomas Bach, after delegates voted 72 to five with three abstentions 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,” Mr Bach said.
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.
However, 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”.
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.
“I’m so excited — I have so much pride for my state, for my people. Never in my lifetime did I think that this was going to happen,” said Queensland state premier, Ms Anna Palaszczuk.
“We have done it, Queensland! We’ve done it, Brisbane! This is fantastic, this is amazing, tonight is your night, enjoy,” she added.
Australian Prime Minister, Mr Scott Morrison, told IOC voters in a live link from his office: “We know what it takes to deliver a successful Games in Australia.”
Mr Morrison then added in a statement he was “absolutely thrilled” by his country’s success in securing a third Games, calling it “a historic day” for the entire country.
“We know the impact on Sydney more than two decades ago was transformative, and we can now expect a repeat for Brisbane and communities across Queensland.
“It’s a proud day for Queenslanders and Australians everywhere,” Morrison stated.
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.
Tokyo is hosting the postponed 2020 Olympics which starts this week and Paris will stage the 2024 Games. Los Angeles in the United States has been awarded the 2028 event.