Summer Olympics return to Australia in 2032

The Olympic Rings. (Public Domain)

The Summer Olympics will return to the land Down Under.

The International Olympic Committee announced early Wednesday morning that Brisbane, Australia, will host the 2032 Summer Olympics and Paralympics. The IOC made the choice official while meeting in Tokyo for the current Summer Games.

Australian IOC members John Coates and James Tomkins were not allowed to vote, and IOC President Thomas Bach, per tradition, abstained except when breaking a tie.

It will be the third time Australia has hosted a Summer Olympics after Melbourne had the honour in 1956, and Sydney staged a successful Games in 2000.

The IOC’s stamp of approval is part of a streamlined process of naming a host city for the Olympic Games. Previously, potential host cities staged elaborate, expensive campaigns hoping to woo IOC votes. Under the new system, the IOC invites host cities to put together a proposal.

“Brisbane 2032 is the first future host to have been elected under, and to have fully benefited from, the new flexible approach to electing Olympic hosts,” said Bach. “The reforms enable the IOC to work in partnership with cities, regions, and countries, to encourage Olympic projects which use a high percentage of existing and temporary venues, which align with long-term development plans, and which have a strong vision for sports and local communities.”

Cities vying to host an Olympics had in the past either pulled their bids because of cost or local opposition. The new system makes it less likely for cities to “buy” votes, the corruption that had given previous Olympic hosts, such as the 2002 Winter Games host Salt Lake City, black eyes.

The New York Times reported that cities in Germany, Hungary, Qatar, and others had expressed interest in hosting the 2032 Games. These cities can hold discussions with the IOC about future bids.

The 2024 Summer Olympics are scheduled for Paris, France, and the 2028 Games will be in Los Angeles. Both are previous two-time hosts. The new system allows the host city 11 years to prepare, rather than the previous seven.

Beijing will host the 2022 Winter Games in February, the first city to host both a Summer and Winter Olympics. The 2026 Winter Olympics are set for Milan-Cortina, Italy.