Melbourne, AUSTRALIA – Just as the 2021 Olympics kick off in Tokyo, attention in Australia briefly turned to the future as officials confirmed Brisbane as the host city of the 2032 Games.
As the only city that put in a bid to host the 2032 Games, Brisbane’s confirmation seemed a mere formality.
By the time the announcement came, Brisbane were the only city left in contention after all other cities had pulled out of the race.
This will be the third time for Australia to host the Olympics, and second time this century. Melbourne hosted in 1956 and Sydney hosted in 2000.
It will be only the second Paralympics that Australia has hosted, since officials added the first Paralympics in 1960.
This is a big deal for Brisbane, because as Sydney and Melbourne normally get all the major sports events, Brisbane often misses out.
But Brisbane is no stranger to hosting major competitions. Major tournaments like The Commonwealth Games (which are like the Olympics but only the countries of the Commonwealth can participate) took place in the city in 1982.
While many locals are excited about the prospect of having the Olympics in their backyard, others worry about the lasting effects.
Jasmin Wheeler, 25, a stay at home mother from the nearby region of the Gold Coast, knows the lasting effects of the most recent Commonwealth Games – hosted on the Gold Coast – and fears a similar thing may happen again after the Olympics in Brisbane.
“I worry that if we do get the Olympics, they will do the same, but bigger,” said Wheeler, “push the homeless out of what are the only safe areas they can sleep into wet, unsafe areas. Build infrastructure that gets used for a few months then falls into disarray. Fear the community into not leaving our houses for the period of the Games.
“We also got lied to big time on the coast,” Wheeler went on. “The athletes’ village was promised to be used as student and low income housing. Now it’s owned by international backers and is one of the most expensive places to live locally.”
No matter what the locals may think now, those in charge have 11 years to change the minds of Brisbanites, and Queenslanders more broadly, into becoming supporters of these Olympics.
Alyce Collett is a Correspondent with Youth Journalism International.