LAUSANNE: Brisbane took a major step towards being named 2032 Olympic hosts after the International Olympic Committee said on Wednesday that the Australian city had been picked as the preferred partner to start talks for the Games.
IOC President Thomas Bach said the IOC had approved a recommendation of the commission in charge of future hosts. “This commission recommended to the IOC executive board to enter into a targeted dialogue with Brisbane 2032. The Executive Board has unanimously approved this recommendation,” Bach told a virtual news conference.
Several cities and countries had publicly expressed an interest in the 2032 Games including Brisbane, Indonesia, Budapest, China, Doha and Germany’s Ruhr valley among others.
Australian Olympic Committee boss John Coates, also a vice president of the IOC, said the other candidate cities had been “parked for a future Games” by the IOC.
“It was a very mature decision by the IOC,” Coates told reporters in Brisbane on Thursday. “To take a decision when you’ve still got a few other cities there and say were going into targeted dialogue with one preferred city was a big call by them and that’s where they ended up.”
Queensland’s quick progress raised questions about possible conflicts of interest for Coates, who has led the Australian Olympic Committee for more than 30 years.
Coates returned to the IOC board last year as a vice president and is viewed as one of Bach’s closest allies.
Published in Dawn, February 26th, 2021