From the Grandstand by Col Hennessy


“And the winner is, Bris…Bain” (said in the usual American drawl). Well in keeping with the 1993 announcement I thought it only fair that the pronunciation of the city should be remembered for future generations. When Syd- en -ney was announced as the winner it was so exciting. We all stayed up and hoped we would get the nod ahead of Beijing. And we did.

We went on to host what was officially (almost) regarded as the ‘best games ever’. There is no reason Brisbane cannot do the same. There is one big difference this time. The IOC in their wisdom declared it does not have to be focussed on one city but can be a regional area. This suited us particularly as the venues will encompass the Sunshine Coast and the Gold Coast.

We should really sing the praises of John Coates who is our IOC representative and is in fact the deputy chairperson. He is the Mr. Olympics of our nation and hats off to him for all his efforts. I didn’t know for instance that he was terribly disappointed that Brisbane missed out on selection for the Olympics in the early 90’s. He even moved to Brisbane with his young family in the late 80s to accelerate the cause. It has been a long time coming for John.

Now we are clearly the ‘preferred candidate’, it is ours to lose. We just have to cross the t’s and dot the i’s. Federal and state governments must come good on promised funding and the local Gold Coast council is back on board with surrounding councils. Can you imagine mayor Tom Tate in front of a microphone?

 The IOC in their wisdom have gone away from the selection criteria which concentrated on flashy new venues. The cost to host cities became prohibitive and places like Rio are still in debt. The south east corner abounds with venues from the Gabba, Suncorp and Carrara where I think the track and field events will be held. I am sure the host stadium for the 1982 Comm games is still there as of course all the venues from when the Gold Coast hosted the 2018 Comm games.

How lucky are we to have three summer Olympics in our generation? My interest in sport began with the Melbourne games in 1956, peaked with the Sydney games in 2000 and hopefully will still be remembered in 2032. Can you imagine this column coming directly from the games venue courtesy of tickets provided to our resident owner/editor? ‘Independent’ journalist Geoff Helisma could really go to town on the hidden costs to ratepayers.

If I were a young teenager in the Valley, I would think seriously about getting involved in an Olympic team sport. As the host nation we get automatic entry into team events and do not have to meet qualifying times etc for individual events.

Not only that mum and dad will be able to come and watch. It will be just under two hours to events on the Gold Coast. Even if it is on the Sunshine Coast you know you will not hit a traffic light till you get to the venue proper. How good is that? See you there!