Australia is officially in the box seat to secure the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) confirmed it would enter into exclusive discussions with organisers of a “very advanced” south-east Queensland bid.
IOC president Thomas Bach said the body’s executive had accepted the recommendation of its Future Hosts Commission to install Brisbane as a non-binding preferred candidate. Bach stressed it was not a final decision and the matter had been the subject of “intensive debate” before being finalised.
The move means the IOC will now engage in detailed and targeted discussions with Brisbane organisers and the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) over coming months. If all of the conditions are met, Australia will in just over a decade be hosting its third Olympics, with a final call to be made as early as July ahead of Tokyo 2021.
It’s a momentous development for Australian sport, and the speed at which Brisbane’s bid has progressed has surprised many not privy to the background machinations. But the Future Host Commission made it clear Australia was seen as a very safe pair of hands amid global uncertainty and had offered lofty praise for the detail of the Queensland presentation.