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  • IOC Chief Impressed by Brisbane Olympic Plans


    (ATR) Sports leaders from around the world are arriving in southeastern Queensland as Australia prepares to host the SportAccord Convention for the first time.

    The confab comes as Brisbane and other cities in Queensland consider the possibility of a 2032 Summer Olympic bid. IOC President Thomas Bach is scheduled to meet Monday morning with political leaders from the southeast region of Queensland.

    Gold Coast and Oz Back in International Spotlight

    Australia’s senior sports influencers know that the coming week on the Gold Coast -- the coastal resort city an hour south of Brisbane -- is more than just an opportunity to host the most prestigious gathering of international sports federations and stakeholders. It is also a unique opportunity to showcase the nation to the world as a first-class sport event destination.

    Following the successful staging of the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast a year ago and the glowing reviews of the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney and 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, the sports-loving nation wants to push its case for more business to the Southern Hemisphere.

    Olympic Bid; Football, Athletics Bids

    In addition to a possible Olympic bid, Australia has also confirmed its bid for the 2023 Women’s FIFA  World Cup, with the host being decided in March 2020. With the 2019 edition in France to open on June 7, the 2023 decision will move to the spotlight.

    The Australian football federation is one of a record nine candidates for the Women’s World Cup in 2023. Other candidates include Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, South Korea, Japan, New Zealand and South Africa.

    The IAAF and president Sebastian Coe are believed to be holding talks about a bid for the world championships in athletics from Australia.

    Generally, the nation – with Queensland a new major player – believes it has grown up as a world sports event playground and aims to leave delegates with the same view.

    Tell Us More

    The IOC president on Monday will be pressed to expand on what he has described as an “impressive” report on Brisbane’ s capacity to host the 2032 Olympics Games

    Thomas Bach speaks to the AOC meeting in Sydney. (Getty Images)
    Bach will be in Brisbane to meet with Brisbane Lord Mayor and Council of Mayors Chair Adrian Schrinner, Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson, and former Lord Mayor and Chair Graham Quirk.

    AOC president John Coates, the architect of the Sydney 2000 Games and former IOC vice president, also will speak at the media conference scheduled to follow the meeting.

    Bach became the first IOC president to attend an Australian Olympic Committee general meeting. In Sydney on Saturday, he stressed the importance of the new approach to make the Olympic Games more sustainable and affordable for host cities. His host, the influential Coates, is also chair of the coordination committee for Tokyo 2020.

    Asked about Brisbane’s prospects as a candidate for the Olympic Games in 2032, Bach was certainly positive.

    “It is at a pretty early stage but from what I have seen of the feasibility study it looks pretty impressive,” he told reporters at the AOC meeting.

    “They have taken account of the reforms of Olympic Agenda 2020 with no need for any large infrastructure projects and the use of many already existing venues. But what is crucial is that the people must want the Games and must want to welcome teams from around the world from the 206 National Olympic Committees."

    Australia's Favorable Reputation 

    An alliance of local councils in the southeast corner of Queensland commissioned a feasibility study on hosting the 2032 Games that said $900 million of taxpayers’ money would be required, transport routes need to be improved and an oval athletics stadium would need to be developed as Brisbane’s major venue. Suncorp Stadium, which hosts
    Raffaelle Chiulli is expected to be elected GAISF president May 10. (ATR)
    the football codes of rugby and ‘soccer’, is rectangular.

    Raffaele Chiulli, the sole candidate for election this week as president of the Global Association of International Sports Federations, has certainly given his endorsement of south-east Queensland, and Australia more broadly, as a major sports event venue.

    Chiulli, who is president of the International Powerboating Federation known as Union Internationale Motonautique Auto, arrived on the Gold Coast on Saturday. But he was already familiar with the region from an IUM General Assembly held at Surfers Paradise in 2008.

    “I have a very positive impression of Queensland particularly and Australia as a world sporting venue because the country has sport in its DNA and also the organization [ability] of great sporting events,” he told Around The Rings.

    “I am very proud to be here because I feel the atmosphere of the people, the whole city and the country itself, which is very keen to show how sport is important by its athletes’ performances, federations and the country as a whole.

    “I have a direct experience [on the Gold Coast] as president of the UIM, organising in Surfers Paradise one of our general assemblies, so I had the opportunity to personally test the experience, the passion, the enthusiasm, the motivation of the Australians to be great athletes.

    “Australians have such a wonderful competitive spirit in their blood and at the same time they want to promote their country by organising great sport gatherings and competitions,” said Chiulli.

    His election as the next GAISF president is scheduled for May 10. GAISF is one of the four stakeholders in SportAccord, along with the associations for summer and winter Olympic sports. It is also the association that represents international federations that are recognized by the IOC but that are not on the Olympic program.

    Meetings of these sports Federation groups fill the first two days of the week. The SportAccord Convention officially begins on Tuesday, running until May 10,

    Reported by Neil Cadigan in Gold Coast. For general comments or questions, click here.

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