Cologne The efforts of the Rhine-Ruhr initiative to bid for the 2032 Summer Olympics could be dealt a bitter blow. Some parts of the Games would also have taken place in Bonn. But the IOC now apparently considers Australia to be the favorite.
On Tuesday, Armin Laschet was still spreading optimism for the 2032 Olympics on the Rhine and Ruhr, and on Friday a press conference is scheduled with NRW's Minister President and chief planner Michael Mronz - but all efforts may be in vain. The Australian state of Queensland, with its capital Brisbane, is apparently very much in the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) favor. And this would reduce the chances of a potential bid by the Rhine-Ruhr initiative to practically zero.
As the industry service insidethegames.biz reports, the IOC Evaluation Commission wants to recommend Brisbane to the Executive Committee. The IOC would then also begin exclusive talks with Queensland bid officials to create a so-called roadmap to the Games in 11 years.
Brisbane considers itself ready for Summer Olympics, the third on the continent after 1956 (Melbourne) and 2000 (Sydney). According to Anastasia Palaszczuk, Premier of Queensland, 85 percent of the infrastructure is already in place. Backing for the major project is apparently strong. "All three levels of government are on board and working feverishly," said Brisbane Mayor Adrian Schrinner.
He said the so-called Future Host Summer Commission, headed by Norwegian Kristin Kloster Aasen and tasked with evaluating future hosts, had reviewed proposals from several cities and regions. Queensland's concept made the best impression, according to insidethegames.
John Coates, chairman of the Australian Olympic Committee and a close ally of IOC President Thomas Bach, led a working group in 2019 that looked at changing the process for selecting a host city for 2032. That led to the creation of the Future Host Summer Commission, whose other members include Canadian IOC great Richard Pound and Andrew Parsons, president of the International Paralympic Committee.
In addition to Queensland, Qatar's capital Doha, Jakarta/Indonesia, Budapest and Madrid have so far expressed interest in bidding for the Games in eleven years' time. A joint bid by the hostile states of North and South Korea with the capitals Pyongyang and Seoul is also being traded again and again.
These plans existed for Bonn
The Rhine-Ruhr initiative has not yet officially thrown a bid into the ring. But this state ruler Armin Laschet is optimistic. "I expect that we will soon be able to become the official candidate of the Federal Republic for the Olympic Games," said the CDU chairman. There will be no other German candidates, he added. "We want to host the Games in North Rhine-Westphalia in 2032," Laschet affirmed: "There has been a chance of a German bid again for a long time." The spirit of the Olympics should also blow through Bonn then. Possible sports in Bonn would be basketball, to be held in the Telekom Dome, and baseball and softball (in the Rheinaue).
Leipzig last applied for the 2012 Games, but failed to make the shortlist of five candidate cities. Planned bids by Munich and Hamburg for the 2022 and 2024 Games, respectively, were halted at an early stage by public opinion polls. The last time the Olympics were held on German soil was in Munich in 1972.
On Friday, Laschet wants to meet the leaders of the cities involved in the possible bid to discuss the status of the plans and possible citizen participation. But it may already be too late for that.
(Original text: SID, Translation: Mareike Graepel)