Olympics-Brisbane bid team land in Tokyo aiming to bring 2032 Games 'home'

·2 min read

TOKYO (Reuters) - A delegation representing Brisbane's 2032 Summer Olympics bid arrived in Tokyo on Monday and said they are taking nothing for granted ahead of a vote that is widely expected to rubber stamp the award of the Games to the Australian city.

Queensland's state capital was chosen as the preferred host in February and needs only ratification at an International Olympic Committee session on Wednesday afternoon.

The bid was given the nod by the powerful IOC Executive Board last month but the Australians said they will not stop working to bring the Games to the city until the final decision has been made.

"We came over on a plane full of athletes and they are all here to compete and do Australia proud," Brisbane mayor Adrian Schrinner told reporters at the airport.

"We're here to compete in a different way, to make sure that Brisbane, Queensland gets the Games in 2032 and we're not taking anything for granted. We are here to work, we're here to get the job done and we're here to bring it home."

Several cities and countries had publicly expressed an interest in staging the 2032 Games including Indonesia, Budapest, China, Doha and Germany’s Ruhr valley region.

But Brisbane got the jump on potential rivals back in February thanks to a new process adopted by the IOC that aimed to avoid pitting candidates against each other.

"This is, you know, a couple of days to go, it's the countdown now and fingers crossed we'll be successful," Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said.

The city's bid had earned repeated praise from the IOC for its high percentage of existing venues, support from all levels of government and the private sector, experience in organising major events and its favourable weather.

A commitment in April from the Australian government to split the infrastructure costs 50-50 with local government allowed Palaszczuk to forward the necessary financial guarantees to the IOC.

"Well, it's a huge thing for Australia. It's the biggest sporting event on the planet," Australia's sports minister Richard Colbeck said.

"The opportunity to bring the Games back to Australia for a third time. It's an enormous event for Australia and I'm really looking forward to playing my part in the bidding process to bring the Games home."

Queensland's Gold Coast hosted the 2018 Commonwealth Games and if the state lands the 2032 Olympics Australia will become only the second country after the United States to host Summer Games in three different cities.

Melbourne held the Games in 1956 and Sydney hosted the event in 2000.

Paris will stage the 2024 Games while Los Angeles has been awarded the 2028 edition.

(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; Editing by Peter Rutherford)