The winner is… Brisbane! The International Olympic Committee has voted in Tokyo and Brisbane has officially secured the right to host the world’s largest event, the Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2032.
Seven years ago when the bid planning officially commenced by the SEQ Council of Mayors, the bid was largely seen as a long shot. Brisbane’s Lord Mayor at the time Graham Quirk took a stab in the dark by tabling the idea and it ended up paying off, massively.
In 2014, a Brisbane 2032 games taskforce met with the IOC president Thomas Batch in Sydney and discussed the opportunity for Brisbane to be the centre of a regional South East Queensland Olympic bid. They told the IOC that it would be far from the traditional big spending games that the world has become accustomed to, but rather a more sustainable approach whereby existing sporting infrastructure throughout the region would be used, around 84% to be precise.
Much to their dismay, the IOC were also working out how to transform the games to become more sustainable and less of a financial burden on their host cities. After numerous ‘high budget’ Olympic Games had left host cities with financial scars and abandoned sporting infrastructure, the IOC recognised things needed to change, and the Brisbane bid was there at the right place and the right time, it was the solution to the IOC’s problem.
Governed by new rules the IOC put in place to limit unnecessary waste that cities spent on Olympic bids, Brisbane was given preference by the IOC and all other interested city bids parked for future consideration.
The Brisbane games will be the first of this new sustainable approach. A benchmark of a more grounded games that not only diligently uses existing infrastructure but only invests in projects that the city will benefit from long term.
The Brisbane Olympics will also substantially benefit from having over a decade to plan, stage and construct long term infrastructure required. Society wise, similar to counting down the days left before a holiday that has been planned well in advance, South East Queenslanders will have eleven years of something to look forward to.The olympic games barely last’s three weeks, but it’s legacy infrastructure lasts for generations.
The Olympics should not be seen as just two weeks of sport, it should be seen as a way for a city’s inhabitants to benefit from infrastructure such as much needed transit projects that the region would not have otherwise got.
Originally published HERE on BrisbaneDevelopment.com.au