Friday, December 2, 2022

Susie O’Neill backs Brisbane 2032 Games bid after major International Olympic Committee move

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Australian Olympian Susie O’Neill says Brisbane can “absolutely” host the 2032 Games due to the city’s well-established infrastructure.

The Queensland capital was confirmed this week as the preferred candidate for the International Olympic Committee to host the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games, after the Executive Board approved the conclusions of the Future Host Summer Commission.

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While the host city for the 2032 Games has yet to be revealed, the location could be finalized before the Tokyo Olympics postponed this year.

And O’Neill, who won gold in the 200-meter freestyle at the Sydney 2000 Olympics and is from Brisbane, has full confidence in the city’s ability to host the Games.

“I definitely think so,” O’Neill said in a conversation with Wide World of Sports radio host James Bracey.

“Obviously we haven’t organized such a big event before. We hosted the Commonwealth Games.

“But the Olympic movement is moving towards a different model – one that is not that big and flashy. They want cities that already have a lot of infrastructure for sports venues. The South East of Queensland already has about 80% of the sites in place.

“We obviously have to work a lot on public transport and infrastructure around the Games.

“I think that would be a kick-start for the region and maybe things are moving a little faster than they would have been.

“But absolutely, yeah – I think we can accommodate it.”

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Under the new bidding system, there is no major revelation like the one in which Sydney won the 2000 Games. Instead, candidate countries engage in an ongoing dialogue with the IOC to ensure that huge expenses associated with submitting a bid for the Games are minimized.

O’Neill, who competed in the Barcelona Games in 1992, the Atlanta Games in 1996 and the Sydney Olympics in 2000, has fond memories of when she learned that the 2000 Games would be held in Australia.

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“I remember it like it was yesterday. I was 20 and seven years old before the Olympics were held, it was in 1993,” O’Neill said.

“I was at the Sports Institute for a swim camp and we had a hearty breakfast early in the morning to watch the ad. It was surreal and I remember getting so excited and thinking, ‘I hope I can hold out for the next seven years’.

“At 20 as a swimmer, even then, I felt like I was training a little. But I remember going to train that day and being so excited and thinking, “I really want to do this.”

“Imagine kids who are 10-15 today, especially in Brisbane – they would be super excited.”

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