2032 Olympics

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Qatar interested in bidding for Olympics

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Qatar wants to bring the Olympics to the Middle East for the first time.

Qatar’s National Olympic Committee took an initial step ahead of a potential bid process, requesting to join the non-committal dialogue phase with the International Olympic Committee to host an Olympics and Paralympics as early as 2032.

The 2024 and 2028 Olympics were previously awarded to Paris and Los Angeles. Olympic hosts are typically determined seven years in advance by IOC members vote, putting the 2032 race in the very early stages.

“The Olympic rings are a symbol of peace, unity and hope for people around the world, including the people of our region,” Qatar’s Olympic committee said in a press release. “Today’s announcement marks the beginning of a meaningful dialogue with the IOC’s Future Host Commission to explore our interest further and identify how the Olympic Games can support Qatar’s long-term development goals.”

An interest in bidding for the Olympics comes as Qatar continues to face corruption allegations over how it won the rights to host the World Cup in a FIFA vote in December 2010.

In April, American prosecutors revealed new details of alleged bribes paid to FIFA executive committee members to gain their votes.

An earlier FIFA investigation found some of Qatar’s conduct “may not have met the standards” required by FIFA but concluded there was no “evidence of any improper activity by the bid team.” Qatar has denied any wrongdoing.

Qatar bid for the Olympics for 2016 and for 2020 with its capital of Doha, but both times it was eliminated before the voting phase. It recently hosted world championships in swimming (short course, 2014), gymnastics (2018) and track and field (2019).

Other nations to express interest in hosting the 2032 Olympics are Australia, Egypt and a joint North-South Korean effort.

FIFA had to move the World Cup from its usual June-July slot to November-December 2022 due to the desert country’s fierce summer heat.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Australia to bid for 2032 Olympics

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BRISBANE, Australia (AP) — Australia’s Queensland state will bid to host to the 2032 Olympics and Paralympics, state premier Annastacia Palaszczuk told reporters Monday.

Palaszczuk said her cabinet had given its approval to advancing a bid and Australia prime minister Scott Morrison said his government was on board. Federal opposition leader Anthony Albanese said his Labour party also backs the bid.

Australia hosted the Olympics twice before in Melbourne in 1956 and Sydney in 2000. Queensland’s capital is Brisbane.

“Cabinet has this morning given the go-ahead to moving to the next level,” Palaszczuk said.

She said Queensland had a potential advantage over other bidders because 80 percent of the venues were already in place. The Gabba ground, famous as an international cricket venue, could host the Opening Ceremony of the Games, which take place from July 23 to Aug. 8.

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

“In terms of the Opening Ceremony, we have not discounted the use of the Gabba. We believe we could put on quite a show at the Gabba.”

Estimates released in May put the cost of hosting the games at $3.6 billion. But financial consultants KPMG estimated the Games could return $4.9 billion in benefits to Queensland.

Olympic cost estimates are notoriously low and usually soar three or four times over estimates. Economic benefits are also unclear and often small, if they exist at all.

The Australian Olympic Committee welcomed the announcement Monday.

“We know the business community recognizes the economic benefits that will flow, but it is vitally important that the community is kept fully informed,” John Coates, president of the Australian Olympic Committee, said.

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Indonesia officially making play for 2032 Olympics

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JAKARTA, Indonesia — Indonesia has officially joined bidding to host the 2032 Olympics following its success staging the Asian Games last year, the deputy chairman of its national Olympic committee said Tuesday, highlighting the rising ambitions of the giant but perennially underperforming Southeast Asian nation.

Muddai Madang said letters from President Joko Widodo and the national Olympic committee were delivered to the International Olympic Committee’s president in Lausanne last week by Indonesia’s ambassador to Switzerland.

“Indonesia is ready to host the Olympics,” Madang told The Associated Press. “What we need now is support from all the Indonesian people and the international community.”

Widodo, who is campaigning for re-election, made a surprise announcement of plans to bid for the 2032 games after the Indonesian cities of Jakarta and Palembang co-hosted the 18th Asian Games in August, and the process has gathered momentum. The Olympics have never been held in Southeast Asia.

There were doubts Indonesia could successfully host the Asian Games, an event involving more than 10,000 athletes, but its reasonably smooth execution was praised by the IOC, paving the way for a tilt at even bigger sports events.

India is planning to bid for the 2032 games and North and South Korea have confirmed an intention to launch a joint bid. Australia and Russia have also expressed interest.

Problems with the 2016 Olympics in Brazil, a developing country that like Indonesia suffers endemic corruption, may count against the chances of the Indonesian bid.

By some estimates it cost Brazil about $20 billion to host the Olympics, the kind of bill that is likely to raise objections in Indonesia, despite projections it will be among the world’s 10 biggest economies by 2030 with a population nearing 300 million.

Tokyo is hosting the 2020 Olympics. Paris and Los Angeles have already been selected to host the following two games, in 2024 and 2028, respectively.