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Australia’s goal to land the 2032 Olympics will have to wait.
The Queensland state government officially postponed work on its bid to host the summer games on Friday to focus on the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Reuters.
“As Queensland’s and Australia’s focus has been placed on responding to coronavirus, [the candidature leadership group] agreed that the 2032 Games candidature discussions be put on hold until further notice,” Queensland Premier Annastascia Palaszczuk wrote in a letter to the state parliament, via Reuters.
There were more than 5.2 million confirmed cases of the coronavirus worldwide as of Saturday afternoon, according to The New York Times, and nearly 340,000 deaths attributed to it. Australia had more than 7,000 confirmed cases.
Australia has played host to the Summer Olympics twice before, most recently in 2000 in Sydney. It also held the games in Melbourne in 1956, though those games were split between there and Stockholm, Sweden. The 2032 games in Queensland would be centered around Brisbane.
The Olympics have announced the next four sites for future games following the Tokyo Olympics — which were postponed to 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Beijing will host the 2022 winter games, and Milan and Cortina will host the games in Italy in 2026. Paris will host the next summer games in 2024 before Los Angeles follows suit in 2028.
Several other countries are also considering bidding on the 2032 games, including both South Korea and Indonesia. The Australian bid, however, is the furthest along. It’s unclear when the International Olympic Committee will announce the host city for the games.
Senior IOC official John Coates supported the move to suspend their bid on Saturday, too.
“The candidature will have its role to play in terms of jobs and growth in the Queensland economy once we have seen our way through the current crisis,” he said in a statement, via Reuters.
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