TOKYO – Brisbane, selected to host the 2032 Olympics on Wednesday, was the inevitable winner of an IOC-run city race to avoid rival bids.
The Games would go back to Australia 32 years after the popular 2000 Sydney Olympics. Melbourne hosted in 1956.
“We know what it takes to deliver a successful sport in Australia,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison told International Olympic Committee voters in an 11-minute live video link from his office.
When the award was later confirmed, Morrison raised both hands in the air and gave two thumbs up, winning the vote 72–5.
The victory led to a fireworks display in Brisbane which was broadcast to IOC members at their five-star hotel in Tokyo.
Brisbane follows 2028 hosts Los Angeles in achieving 11 years in preparation to host the Games. Paris will host in 2024.
The 2032 deal came months before a formal decision was made at an IOC meeting, which was held on Friday ahead of the Tokyo Games opening ceremony.
The IOC gave Brisbane special negotiation rights in February. That decision blindsided Olympic officials in Qatar, Hungary and Germany with their stalled bidding plans.
Although the result was expected, a high-level Australian delegation traveled to Tokyo amid the COVID-19 pandemic to deliver speeches, films and promises on the stage.
The City of Brisbane sent Mayor Adrian Schreiner, the state of Queensland sent Premier Annastasia Palaszczuk and Australia’s federal government sent Sports Minister Richard Kolbeck to woo Olympic voters.
He was joined by longtime Australian Olympic official John Coates, now the IOC vice-president who shaped the fast-track selection process two years ago.
The format, for the first time, designed to cut campaign costs, gives the IOC more control and removes the risk of vote-buying.
The project will have events held in Queensland, including the Gold Coast, which hosted the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
Brisbane’s famous cricket stadium, known as the Gabba, will be upgraded and could host games at the Games. Cricket was once played in the Olympics at the 1900 Paris Games.
The hosts of the next three Summer Games – starting with Paris in 2024 – are now secured in the wealthy and traditional Olympic host nations, with none of the trio facing a vote in the election.
The IOC and its pragmatic president, Thomas Bach, have broken the template of traditional bidding campaigns and are hosting votes to close preferred cities with minimal risk.
The future hosts offer stability for the IOC, which was being tainted by allegations of vote-buying in the competitions of the previous two Summer Games, when several cities were on the ballot.
The 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics and the postponed 2020 Tokyo Olympics are still under investigation by French prosecutors. They have implicated officials who lost their positions as active or honorary members of the IOC family.
There is a less-risk future for the IOC after the often troubled Tokyo Olympics in February and the 2022 Beijing Winter Games, which will examine China’s human rights record.
Major partners have also been secured till 2032. The IOC’s signature broadcast deals with NBC and top tier sponsors Coca-Cola, Visa and Omega are tied for a decade to come.