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Community & Business

10 March, 2021

Playing games

OPINION - Last week it was announced that Brisbane had been nominated as the preferred host of the 2032 Olympics,

By Phil Brandel

Let the political games begin

OPINION - Playing games.

Last week it was announced that Brisbane had been nominated as the preferred host of the 2032 Olympics, which is just another example of the disparity between the south-east corner and the rest of Queensland.

We can’t get a road built between Cairns and Mareeba but The Premier is already promising billions to the south-east corner.

The Sydney Olympics in 2000 cost almost $6.5bn to put together, not including the wider costs for urban and transport infrastructure.

The London 2012 Games had an estimated $18bn price tag.  That’s almost triple, does that mean the Brisbane Olympics will be triple again? That’s a lot less schools, hospitals and roads for Queensland.

According to a report by Oxford University, the six summer and winter Games over the decade 2004-2014 cost on average $11.4 billion. That's without factoring in infrastructure such as roads, rail, and airports and all of those ran significantly over budget.

The financial hangovers the Games brought on to Rio and Athens are cautionary tales.

 The Olympics really are an outdated tradition and event. In the past young people would aspire to run 100 metres in 10 seconds, now they would rather have 100,000 followers on Instagram rather than watch men from overseas chase each other around a track.

To try and stay relevant to young people, the IOC has started to introduce some new sports in the hope of keeping young people interested and also trying to attract TV audiences who are switching off free to air and pay TV in droves in favour of streaming services.

Skateboarding, sport climbing, and surfing have all been confirmed for the Paris Olympics in 2024, as has breakdancing, someone should remind the IOC that Electric Boogalooo came out on VHS in 1984.

The Brisbane bean counters are already crowing about the economic benefits this will bring Queensland. What they really mean is Brisbane and The Gold Coast.

A close friend of mine who works high up in an accommodation chain said that venues from the Sunshine Coast down to The Gold Coast are already getting booking enquires for 2032. While venues in FNQ are barely staying open.

If the state government had any foresight the bid wouldn’t be “Brisbane 2032” but rather “Queensland 2032.”

We could have basketball in Cairns, sailing on the Whitsundays, shooting in Mt Isa and equestrian events in Ayr

(Townsville can have breakdancing). 

Australian gold medallist Paralympian Kurt Fearnley couldn’t have said it better when asked if he was excited about the prospect of the games coming to Queensland.

"From the Sunshine Coast down to the Gold Coast, if they get this across the line, everyone will be able to get that hands-on experience of the Olympic and Paralympic Games."

Well not everyone, Kurt.

Phil Brandel 

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