International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach has returned to Brisbane for the first time since the river city won the 2032 Games.
The IOC boss touched down in Queensland after a lightning tour of Australia’s Pacific neighbours, saying the Games’ spirit is alive and well across the region.
“These Olympic Games will not only be Games in Australia, for Australia,” Mr Bach told reporters on Saturday. “These will be Olympic Games with the whole Pacific region.
“You can see the enthusiasm and the anticipation (is) already at a very high level.”
Flanked by Co-ordination Commission chair Kirsty Coventry, Mr Bach joined an Olympics Unleashed Session at Yeronga State High School in south Brisbane.
Queensland was the first state to adopt the program in which Olympic athletes engage with students to encourage future sporting stars to set goals, overcome challenges and demonstrate resilience.
‘Inspiring that next generation’
“Being witnesses to one of these sessions is really encouraging,” Mr Bach said.
“It’s a great anticipation of these games, Brisbane 2032. They’re all excited, and they’re all motivated. It’s really a great feeling of Olympic spirit.”
The challenge, he said, would be to keep the momentum and enthusiasm alive.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the visit was an ideal opportunity to showcase what Brisbane 2032 would offer.
“Number one is our people, number two, our wonderful athletes, and number three, our wonderful venues.
“But of course, today, it’s about inspiring that next generation, that next generation of young athletes, if we one day dream to be part of the Olympics.”
The premier admitted there was work ahead during the ’10-year runway’ leading up to the event.
“But every single Queenslander should be filled with immense pride that we have been awarded the Olympic Games in 2032.”