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Brisbane's bid for 2032 Olympic Games firms as winner as last city left in negotiations

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The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is expected to announce early on Thursday morning that Brisbane is the sole bid city chosen for “exclusive negotiations” to host the Summer Games in 2032.

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The IOC’s Future Host Summer Commission has been reviewing several proposals but Brisbane’s bid has long been the stand-out, with existing infrastructure bolstered by established upgrade plans for South-East Queensland.

During tonight’s IOC executive board meeting, Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) President and IOC Vice-President, John Coates, will excuse himself when the Future Host Summer Commission presents its report and when the IOC makes its announcement to the world’s media via video stream.

“The Brisbane, Queensland candidature is following the process approved by IOC Members in Session in 2019,” the AOC said.

“We are aware that the IOC Executive Board will receive presentations from a number of Commissions at its meeting tonight, including the Future Host Commission.

“We are not privy to that presentation but look forward to any advice in due course.”

Other cities that had shown interest in the 2032 Games included Doha, Budapest, Istanbul, Jakarta, New Delhi and St Petersburg.

Recently the idea was floated in Chinese media that a joint bid would be submitted by twin cities Chengdu and Chongqing, but nothing more concrete was made public.

There had also been early discussions of the possibility of a joint North Korea-South Korea bid, but discussions there broke down last year.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk restarted conversations around Brisbane’s bid late last year after the urgency of the COVID-19 pandemic had abated.

Palaszczuk described an early December meeting with Coates as “really positive”.

“Today was very significant in that we were able to discuss getting our Olympic taskforce, or working group, back together … to look at the next stages that we have to go through,” she said.

If, as expected, Brisbane emerges as the only remaining candidate city to continue negotiations with the IOC, it will have more than a decade to prepare.

In December, Coates supported the Queensland Premier’s resumption of talks saying: “I think with COVID under control in this country, largely, it is time for everyone to reaffirm their commitment to these Games and I think that’s going to be very well received.”

Queensland will also continue discussions with the federal government as it will need its support for infrastructure commitments.

– ABC / Tracey Holmes for The Ticket and ABC Sport

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