Brisbane has emerged as the front runner to host the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games, after the International Olympic Committee announced the Australian city as its preferred bidder.
IOC president Thomas Bach said the body’s executive board had voted unanimously to accept the Queensland city as first “non-binding” choice for the Games, as part of its new streamlined host selection process.
The city has never previously hosted the Olympics, though it did stage some football matches during the 2000 Olympics in Sydney - the last time Australia welcomed the Games - and held several events, including track cycling, during the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.
Doha and Budapest were among the other cities to have expressed an interest, while China, Indonesia and Germany were also keen without having specified a city.
“The commitment of Australia and Oceania to Olympic sports has grown remarkably since the fantastic Olympic Games Sydney 2000,” said Bach.
“This is why we see such strong public support. We decided to seize an opportunity to take to the next stage our discussions about returning 32 years later.
“In this way, we are also acknowledging the strength of the Australian team and other athletes from across the continent of Oceania at the Olympic Games over the past decades.”
The IOC has a new, more targeted and flexible approach to future host venues which is permanently open to “exploratory, non-committal continuous dialogue with interested parties”. It is hoped that the method will prevent cities from having to compete directly with one another and avoid the unnecessary financial expenditure of numerous potential hosts putting together full-scale bids before only one is chosen at the end of the process.
Additional reporting by PA.