Brisbane 2032 Olympic group to have ‘targeted dialogue’ with IOC

Brisbane Olympic bid
Australian Olympic Committee
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A group hoping to bring the 2032 Olympics to Brisbane, Australia, has been chosen by the IOC to start “a targeted dialogue” phase.

The IOC Executive Board approved a recommendation from an IOC Future Host Commission to begin the talks, also including the Australian Olympic Committee, as part of the new host city selection process.

“I would like to emphasize that this recommendation and this decision is not a decision against anybody,” IOC President Thomas Bach said. “This is just a decision in favor of one interested party at this moment in time.”

Based on the discussions, the executive board has the ability to propose the election of the 2032 Olympic host at a to-be-determined future IOC session. The future host commission will also continue talks with other groups interested in bidding for the 2032 Games.

The decision to advance talks with Brisbane, after discussions were also held with other interested parties, was made “given the uncertainty the world is facing at this moment, which is expected to continue even after the Covid-19 health crisis is over” and to bring “stability to the Olympic Games, the athletes, the IOC and the whole Olympic movement,” said IOC member Kristin Kloster Aasen, chair of the future host commission.

“Our recommendation was to seize the opportunity which presented itself, also given the economic outlook and the financial outlook globally for the future and many other factors,” she said. “This is not something that I foresee is going to take years, but I cannot pre-empt the process.”

Traditionally, Olympic hosts have been chosen from a bid process by IOC members vote seven years before the Games. While that is still possible for the 2032 Games, it’s no longer the sole option.

In 2017, after Bach said that traditional process “produces too many losers,” the 2024 Olympics were awarded to Paris and the 2028 Olympics to Los Angeles after a historic agreement among the two cities and IOC leaders.

In 2019, the 2026 Winter Games were awarded to Milan-Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy, winning an IOC members vote over a Swedish-Latvian bid centered on Stockholm.

Also in 2019, the IOC established future host commissions for the Summer and Winter Games as part of changes “to transform future Olympic Games elections.” The IOC noted a more proactive, flexible, cost-effective approach to prospective hosts and that bids can include multiple cities, regions and countries.

Australia previously hosted the Summer Games in Melbourne in 1956 and Sydney in 2000. Those Olympics were held in the Australian spring and winter in November-December and September-October, respectively.

Brisbane 2032 proposes July 23-Aug. 8, with events also in Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast in the same Australian state of Queensland. As usual, preliminary soccer matches could be spread across the nation, including in Sydney and Melbourne.

One of the reasons that Brisbane is targeted for more discussions is that it has “favorable climate conditions for athletes in July and August, despite the current global challenges caused by climate change,” according to a press release.

Plans for a 2032 bid from Queensland were first announced in December 2019. At the time, state premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said 80 percent of venues were already in place after Gold Coast hosted the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

“That means we do not need to build huge stadiums we will not need into the future,” Palaszczuk said.

Other nations to previously express interest in hosting the 2032 Olympics included Qatar and Indonesia, plus a possible joint North Korea-South Korea bid.

The 2030 Winter Games have yet to be awarded. The U.S. may bid, and if it does, it will be Salt Lake City, the 2002 Winter Games host.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Ironman Kona World Championships return for first time in three years, live on Peacock

Ironman Kona World Championship
Ironman
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The Ironman Kona World Championships return after a three-year hiatus with a new format, live on Peacock on Thursday and Saturday at 12 p.m. ET.

The Ironman, held annually in Hawaii since 1978, and in Kailua-Kona since 1981, was not held in 2020 or 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The world championships made a one-time-only stop in St. George, Utah, on May 7 to make up for the 2021 cancellation. The winners were Norway’s Kristian Blummenfelt, the Tokyo Olympic triathlon champion, and Swiss Daniela Ryf, who bagged her fifth Ironman world title.

Both are entered in Kailua-Kona, where the races are now split between two days — Thursday for the women and Saturday for the men.

An Ironman includes a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike and a marathon — totaling 140.6 miles of racing. It takes top triathletes eight hours to complete. Very arguably, it crowns the world’s fittest man and woman.

WATCH LIVE: Ironman Kona, Thursday, 12 p.m. ET — STREAM LINK

Ryf, 35 and a 2008 and 2012 Olympian, can tie retired countrywoman Natascha Badmann for second place on the women’s list at six Ironman world titles. Only Zimbabwean-turned-American Paula Newby-Fraser has more with eight.

The field also includes German Anne Haug, the 2019 Kona champ and only woman other than Ryf to win since 2015. Brit Lucy Charles-Barclay, the Kona runner-up in 2017, 2018 and 2019, returns after missing the St. George event due to a stress fracture in her hip.

Blummenfelt, 28 and in his Kona debut, will try to become the youngest male champion in Kona since German Normann Stadler in 2005. His top challengers include countryman Gustav Iden, the two-time reigning Half Ironman world champion, and German Patrick Lange, the 2017 and 2018 Ironman Kona winner.

Also racing Saturday is Dallas Clark, a retired All-Pro NFL tight end with the Indianapolis Colts, and Tony Kanaan, the 2013 Indy 500 champion who completed the 2011 Kona Ironman in 12 hours, 52 minutes, 40 seconds.

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Joan Benoit Samuelson, Olympic marathon champ in 1984, runs London Marathon at 65

Joan Benoit Samuelson
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Joan Benoit Samuelson, the first Olympic women’s marathon champion in 1984, ran her first 26.2-mile race in three years at Sunday’s London Marathon and won her age group.

Benoit Samuelson, 65, clocked 3 hours, 20 minutes, 20 seconds to top the women’s 65-69 age group by 7 minutes, 52 seconds. She took pleasure in being joined in the race by daughter Abby, who crossed in 2:58:19.

“She may have beaten me with my replacement knee, but everybody said I wouldn’t do it! I will never say never,” Benoit Samuelson said, according to race organizers. “I am a grandmother now to Charlotte, and it’s my goal to run 5K with her.”

LONDON MARATHON: Results

Benoit Samuelson raced the 1987 Boston Marathon while three months pregnant with Abby. Before that, she won the first Olympic women’s marathon at the 1984 Los Angeles Games, plus the Boston Marathon in 1979 and 1983 and the Chicago Marathon in 1985.

Her personal best — 2:21:21 — still holds up. She ranks sixth in U.S. women’s history.

Benoit Samuelson plans to race the Tokyo Marathon to complete her set of doing all six annual World Marathon Majors. The others are Berlin, Boston, Chicago and New York City.

“I’m happy to finish this race and make it to Tokyo, but I did it today on a wing and a prayer,” she said, according to organizers. “I’m blessed to have longevity in this sport. It doesn’t owe me anything, but I feel I owe my sport.”

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