International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach said Wednesday that Australia would have a good chance of success if it bid for the 2028 Olympic Games in Queensland state.
The Associated Press reports that when Bach met with Prime Minister Tony Abbott he encouraged Australia to plan for a Games bid. He later told a news conference that Australia’s “worldwide famous love ” of sport and the organizational skills it showed in hosting the 2000 Games in Sydney would ensure “sympathy” for the bid. He said, “a bid from Australia would enjoy a lot of sympathy, and would in fact have very good chances then also to win”.
He added that the 28 years that would elapse between Sydney and a Games in Queensland ensured it would not be “too soon” for Australia to be awarded the Olympics again. “The Games are rotating around the world but there is no established circle. There is no rotation by years”.
The IOC head met with Abbot, sports minister Sussan Ley and Australian Olympic Committee President John Coates in Canberra, then flew to Sydney and toured Olympic Park, site of the 2000 Games.
He called it an “emotional visit” 15 years after the event. He added he was in the stadium when Australia’s Cathy Freeman won the 400 metres in 2000. He watched a replay of the race on Wednesday.
Bach said, “it gives you goosebumps when you see this and when you remember the roar in the stadium, when you remember how this tension exploded in joy after she crossed the finish line”.
Bach is to meet with the mayors of South-East Queensland Thursday to further discuss a possible Games bid. The AOC has encouraged the South-East Queensland Council of Mayors to proceed with a feasibility study of a Games bid.
Cities have until January 2019 to announce if they are bidding to host the 2028 Games and the host city will be selected by the IOC in 2021.
An Olympics in Australia would be the nation’s third following Sydney 2000 and Melbourne in 1956.
On Monday Bach ruled out a 2024 Olympic bid from India saying it was “too soon” after India’s Olympic Federation suspension due to election violations. Boston, Hamburg and Rome – soon to be joined by Paris – have already entered that race.