The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has confirmed that it will wait until Australia and other nations are ready to continue with their Olympic bids while they step back during the current coronavirus pandemic.
Last week the Premier of Australia’s South East Queensland Annastacia Palaszczuk announced her state’s bid to host the 2032 Olympic Games would be “put on hold until further notice” while focus remains on responding the the impacts of COVID-19.
Officials in Indonesia said last month that their work behind a Jakarta 2032 bid would be limited until at least December while the pandemic is raging through many nations in the world.
An IOC spokesperson responded to the news Monday, telling GamesBids.com that these are prudent actions moving forward.
“One of the priorities for the IOC and the Olympic Movement at the moment is to support the containment of the virus,” the spokesperson said.
“In that spirit, we fully understand and support this approach.
“Flexibility is one of the key drivers of the IOC’s new approach to future host elections, which means we will be able to continue our discussions with the Australian Olympic Committee and government stakeholders at the appropriate time.”
Other 2032 bids have been positioned from India, Germany, China and jointly between North and South Korea.
Japan, Spain and the United States were named by the IOC in January as nations in discussions to host a future Winter Olympics in 2030 or 2034.
After government approval, the South East Queensland (SEQ 2032) bid was the first to roar out of the gates last December and has been considered the front runner in the fledgling race. Insiders were expecting a quick election as early as 2021.
But now – after most spectator sports around the globe has been halted – so is the bid. The new time window could give other the bids a chance to catch up, or interest from other nations to emerge.
For Australian officials the delay is not causing concern and Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) Chief Matt Carroll says his bid centered around state capital Brisbane could be better positioned after the pandemic is under control.
“Queensland is ahead of the game. They can move very quickly,” Carroll told the Sydney Morning Herald.
“They’re already well down the track of master planning for the Games.
“The other cities are talking about it, but they haven’t started their candidatures.
“Whether they do after this crisis, the IOC can make a decision by 2022. They’re no longer bound to (make a decision) seven years before a Games.”
New rules voted into place last year dropped the fixed calendar and put the timing at the discretion of the IOC’s host city commissions.
“On the other side of the crisis, we think the candidature has a role to play,” Carroll said.
“There’s a 10-year runway.
“If you think about it a different way, after the COVID-19 pandemic, the additional benefits and drivers are actually an incentive towards hosting the Games.”