TOKYO – Brisbane was picked Wednesday to host the 2032 Olympics, the inevitable winner of a one-city race steered by the IOC to avoid rival bids.
The Games will go back to Australia 32 years after the popular 2000 Sydney Olympics. Melbourne hosted in 1956.
“We know what it takes to deliver a successful Games in Australia,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison told International Olympic Committee voters in an 11-minute live video link from his office.
Brisbane follows 2028 host Los Angeles in getting 11 years to prepare for hosting the Games. Paris will host in 2024.
The 2032 deal for the Australian east coast city looked done even months before the formal decision by IOC members at their meeting ahead of the Tokyo Games, which open Friday.
The IOC gave Brisbane exclusive negotiating rights in February. That decision left Olympic officials in Qatar, Hungary and Germany looking blindsided with their own stalled bidding plans.
Brisbane was the first winner in a new bidding format. It lets the IOC approach potential candidates and pick them uncontested before the previously mandated seven-year advance mandated in other Olympic contests.
The streamlined process was designed to cut campaign costs, give the IOC more control and remove the risk of vote-buying.
Tokyo virus cases hit 6-month high
Tokyo's COVID-19 infections surged to a six-month high with the Olympic host city logging 1,832 new cases just two days before the Games open.
Japan has had about 84,800 infections and more than 15,000 deaths since the pandemic began, most of them since the latest wave in January.
Experts warned that Tokyo's infections would only worsen in coming weeks. Dr. Norio Ohmagari, the Tokyo metropolitan government's expert panel member, said that Tokyo's average daily cases could hit around 2,600 in two weeks if they continue at the current pace.
Around the Games
USA Basketball expects to have its full 12-man roster available for Sunday's matchup against France, the first game for both teams in the Tokyo Olympics. ... Four-time Olympic women's basketball gold medalist Sue Bird and baseball player Eddy Alvarez were chosen as U.S. flag bearers for the opening ceremony of the Olympics on Friday night.