The Summer Olympics are returning to Australia, with the Queensland capital of Brisbane set to host the 2032 Games. What can Australians and the rest of the world expect from this upcoming edition of the global sporting event Down Under?
Brisbane’s bid for the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games started in 2015, when the Council of Mayors (SEQ) agreed to investigate a potential bid as part of long-term infrastructure planning.
However, it was not until February 2021, when the International Olympic Committee (IOC) granted Brisbane “preferred host” status that the bid picked up steam. In June, the IOC’s Future Host Commission officially recommended Brisbane as its preferred candidate for the 2032 Games.
Australia’s success over rival bids was confirmed on July 21, when the Tokyo Games had just commenced. At around 6.30pm local time, IOC President Thomas Bach told the world that “the Games of the XXXVth Olympiad are awarded to Brisbane, Australia.”
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk hailed the decision, saying: “We’re a sports-loving state and this will give us our golden age in Queensland. Tonight is a victory for every single Queenslander.”
Kazunari Tanaka, Consul-General of Japan in Brisbane also welcomed the IOC’s announcement, tweeting: “Congratulations! 2032 will show to the world how good Queensland is! And all the best to Aussie athletes, my compatriots and all participating athletes around the world for Tokyo 2020.”
After the success of the Tokyo Olympics, Australia will be keen to set a new benchmark for the world’s biggest multi-sport event when it hosts it from July 23 to August 8, 2032.
Olympics in Australia
Brisbane 2032 will not be the first time the Olympics have been held in Australia. In 1956, Australia hosted the Games in the Victorian state capital of Melbourne, with Sydney next to host the event in 2000, some 44 years later.
Australia proved highly successful at both Games, finishing third and fourth in the respective medal counts, while the Sydney Olympics were described by the IOC president as well as a number of critics as “the best Games ever.”
In Tokyo, Australia finished sixth on the medal tally, one spot below Japan. Australians will be aiming to climb even higher on the table when the event is held on domestic soil.
Notably, Australia is one of only two countries to have sent athletes to every modern Olympics, demonstrating the nation’s love of sport.
Brisbane also has some past experience in hosting major international events, including the 1982 Commonwealth Games, which featured more than 1,500 athletes from 46 countries.
Brisbane is eyeing an economic boost from hosting the Games, comprising a projected A$4.6 billion boost to tourism and trade and A$3.5 billion in social improvements such as health, volunteering and community benefits.
The Brisbane City Council has announced a number of projects are already underway to enhance the city’s infrastructure ahead of the Games, including the Brisbane Metro transport network, Green Bridges over the Brisbane River and the transformation of Victoria Park.
The Queensland state capital will be home to 18 of the 32 Olympic competition venues and also host key non-competition facilities, including the International Broadcast Centre, Main Press Centre and Olympic and Paralympic Games Athlete’s Village.
Fortunately for visitors, the Summer Olympics will occur during Brisbane’s winter, when mean temperatures range between 9 to 20 degrees. Brisbane also boasts more than 300 days of sunshine a year, making it an excellent venue for outdoor activities.
For tourists keen to explore further, Australia’s third-largest city lies only a one hour drive north of the Gold Coast with its theme parks and beaches, or around 90 minutes south of the Sunshine Coast with its range of natural attractions.
Brisbane also has a vibrant contemporary food scene, aided by its multicultural population and outdoor lifestyle, with a number of restaurant precincts now spanning the urban riverfront and “hot spots” across the city.
Arts lovers can also look forward to a vibrant cultural scene, with the South Bank precinct near the city hosting Australia’s most visited art gallery, QAGOMA, together with the state’s premier performing arts space, QPAC.
“Tourists to Brisbane during the Olympics will be welcomed with open arms,” says Brisbane’s Economic Development Agency (EDA).
“There are myriad tourism drawcards, including inner-city adrenaline activities, Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander art and cultural experiences, and mountain and water-based activities on offer, all extending the visitor spend throughout the wider Brisbane region.”
The agency also points to the development of new luxury hotels, including W Brisbane, Crystalbrook Vincent, The Calile Hotel and Emporium South Bank, “providing more than 5,000 new rooms and additional meeting and event facilities.”
Importantly for Japanese visitors, Brisbane is only one hour ahead of Japan time, with direct flights from Tokyo’s Narita airport taking around nine hours to reach the Australian city.
And with Japanese language widely studied in Queensland schools and more than 10,000 Japanese living in Brisbane, Japanese tourists to the Games can expect to be greeted in their own language.
“Brisbane is Australia’s ‘go-to’ city for international conferences, conventions, business events, and sporting competitions,” says Brisbane’s EDA.
“Now on the world stage as an Olympic city, Brisbane boasts world-class conference facilities, international-standard sporting stadiums, myriad hotels, a sub-tropical lifestyle, an enviable cultural scene, a diverse range of visitor experiences, all set amidst natural landscapes from hinterland mountains to the Bay.”
Thinking about joining in the excitement in 2032? Talk to Hello Kids about how we can make your visit a memorable one, with an educational as well as sporting experience.