Bach ‘impressed’ with Brisbane 2032 prep

IOC chief warns hosts of ‘unexpected obstacles’; says ‘honeymoon’ won’t last forever

AFP May 01, 2022


Brisbane is making impressive early preparations to host the 2032 Games, International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach said Sunday after a "honeymoon" first meeting with organisers.

But Bach warned that like any marriage there would likely be surprises causing problems in the relationship.

"We are not only satisfied. I have said it before, we are impressed and happy," Bach said during a visit to Sydney to meet members of the Brisbane 2032 organising committee.

Bach also bid farewell to powerbroker John Coates, who stepped down on Saturday after 32 years as president of the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC).

"It was like a honeymoon meeting," Bach said after meeting Brisbane 2032 Olympic Games organisers, including Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.

"This honeymoon will not last forever. As we know by experience, like every marriage it will have its ups and downs," he added.

"But the mutual respect and the enthusiasm, I think, will make sure that we will also overcome maybe some unexpected obstacles."

Asked whether cricket or surf lifesaving might be included in the 2032 Games, which were awarded to the Australian east coast city last July, Bach said only that the IOC sought to include sports that inspired younger generations.

Kirsty Coventry, chair of the IOC's athletes commission, said it was probably too early to be deciding on sports for 2032.

Coventry, a former Olympic swimmer and world record holder from Zimbabwe, pointed out that she was from a cricket-playing nation.

"We've got to take it step-by-step," she said, by evaluating how different sports integrated into the Olympic movement and also their influence on young people.

Despite leaving his post as AOC president, Coates remains vice-president of the International Olympic Committee until the 2024 Games in Paris and is still president of the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Ian Chesterman, Chef de Mission for Australia's 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games team, was elected as Coates' successor at the AOC.


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