IOC pushes back on idea of 2032 and 2036 double awarding of Summer Olympic Games

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) Thursday rejected any chance that the 2032 and 2036 Summer Games could be awarded at the same time.

IOC Future Host Commission chair Kristin Kloster Aasen presents at 137th IOC Session March 11, 2021 (IOC Photo)

IOC Future Host Commission chair Kristin Kloster Aasen (on screen) presents at 137th IOC Session March 11, 2021 (IOC Photo)

During a presentation of the Brisbane 2032 Olympic bid that was elevated to the ‘targeted dialogue’ stage last month, Future Host Commission chair Kristin Kloster Aasen addressed the question that had apparently been shared among IOC members ahead of the virtual online Session taking place this week.

In 2017 both Paris and Los Angeles were awarded the 2024 and 2028 Games respectively after the two cities were the only remaining candidates in the hunt for the earlier edition.

But Kloster Aasen told members “The 2024, 2028 double award was a very different situation for many reasons.

“Not least was that it was an election 11 years ahead while 2036 would represent 15 years before the Games.

“In addition the Olympic Games will evolve tremendously during this period.  The Games are a reflection of society and there is going to be an evolution of national and international priorities on sustainability, human development and many other topics.”

Brisbane was singled out as the preferred candidate in February meaning that it will likely become the third Australian Olympic Games host city once completing a questionnaire, providing financial and venue guarantees and agreeing to contract terms.  If completed this year Brisbane could be elected with the most lead time ever for a Games.

IOC members generally supported the Commission’s decisions when providing feedback in the Session.

Senior Canadian IOC member Dick Pound said “I strongly support the position of the Commission to consider only a single Summer Games host at this time.

“In the circumstances I think to go beyond Games in 2032 would be unwise, and I must say even 11 years is a long time in a world that is changing as quickly as it does today.

“On the other hand I think perhaps the resilience and certainty that can be derived from choosing a host for 2032, especially in a post COVID world could send the reassuring message to the world.”

Pound added that choosing a 2036 host city now would unduly “tie the hands” of a future president and membership.

Other members including Prince Albert of Monaco were aligned with Pound’s reasoning.

Rival cities were blindsided by the IOC’s surprise decision last month that followed new bidding guidelines permitting Host City Commissions to choose a candidate at any time without interim reporting.

Bids from Germany, Qatar and North and South Korea were disappointed and claimed they will continue to campaign for 2032 in the event IOC negotiations with Australia fall through.  These cities would likely be interested in a quick 2036 award – but Kloster Aasen ruled out the possibility.

About Robert Livingstone

A senior producer and award-winning journalist covering Olympic bid business as founder of as well as providing freelance support for print and Web publications around the world. Robert Livingstone is a member of the Olympic Journalists Association and the International Society of Olympic Historians.