Brisbane was named the Olympic host city for 2032 on Wednesday, setting up jubilant fireworks as it became the third Australian city to do so following Melbourne and Sydney.
After a vote at the IOC session in Tokyo, Thomas Bach, the president of the International Olympic Committee, announced the largely expected decision.
“The International Olympic Committee has the honor to announce that Brisbane, Australia, will host the Games of the 35th Olympiad,” Bach stated.
The Brisbane delegates in Tokyo erupted in applause, while fireworks lit up the skies above the Australian city hundreds of miles (kilometres) away.
Brisbane’s victory looked a certainty after it was unanimously proposed as the single candidate for 2032 by the IOC’s 15-strong executive board in June.
“It’s a historic day not just for Brisbane and Queensland, but for the entire country,” said Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
“Securing the Olympic Games is only possible for global cities, therefore this is a fitting recognition of Brisbane’s standing in our region and beyond the world.”
Australia has already hosted the Olympics twice, in Melbourne in 1956 and Sydney in 2000, with Melbourne in 1956 being widely regarded as one of the most successful Games in modern history.
Rhys Cush, 24, one of those in the masked-up crowd, said he hoped to work at the 2032 Olympics and also attend as a spectator.
“I’m an extremely big fan. I even watched the softball this morning,” he told AFP. “I’m super excited about having the Olympics coming here.”
Lauren Granger, 42, said she hoped the 2032 Olympics would recreate the buzz of Sydney’s successful 2000 Games.
“We flew down to Sydney and we were at the Olympics and it was just such a great experience for our family,” she said.
“That was 20 years ago, and we’d love to be able to experience it with our children in 2032.”
Brisbane, with a population of 2.3 million people and a coastline lined with glistening sands, is viewed as more laid-back and less cosmopolitan than Australia’s enormous southern capitals.
Brisbane and adjacent towns in Queensland state, including the Gold Coast, which hosted the 2018 Commonwealth Games, will host venues.
There are hopes the Olympics will boost Brisbane’s profile, making it more attractive to tourists who tend to use it as a jumping-off point for attractions like the Great Barrier Reef.
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A report in The Australian newspaper said the Games will cost Au$5bn, with the opening and closing ceremonies taking place at a redeveloped Gabba cricket ground.
The decision means the IOC has now secured hosts for the next three Summer Olympics, with Paris holding the event in 2024 and Los Angeles organising the 2028 Games.
The awarding of the 2032 Olympics was the first to take place with a new election method adopted in June 2019 in an attempt to counter application fees and a lack of serious bids.
For the 2024 Games, Bach complained the process had “produced too many losers”, after Rome, Hamburg and Budapest all pulled out of the running.
Bidding cities have become increasingly hard to come by in recent years as costs balloon and the economic benefits of holding the Games remain unclear.
The vote took place two days before the troubled Tokyo Olympics, which will start behind closed doors on Friday after a year’s delay because of the pandemic.