Tokyo Olympics 2032 Host Brisbane
Members of the Brisbane 2032 delegation, from left: Brisbane Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner, Australian Sports Minister Senator Richard Colbeck, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Australian Olympic Committee President and IOC Vice President John Coates speak to the media after Brisbane was announced as the 2032 Summer Olympics host city at the Hotel Okura in Tokyo on Wednesday night. Photo: Toru Hanai/Pool via AP
sports

Coates, Queensland premier at odds after Brisbane gets 2032 Olympics

27 Comments
By DENNIS PASSA

Australia's highest-ranking Olympic official and the current premier of the state of Queensland where the 2032 Summer Games will be held have put an early test to the old adage that sports and politics don't mix.

Hours after Brisbane was given the hosting rights for the Games 11 years down the track following an International Olympic Committee vote in Tokyo on Wednesday, Australian Olympic Committee President John Coates had a public disagreement with Queensland state Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.

The issue at the late night news conference in Tokyo? Whether Palaszczuk and other members of the city's delegation, including the Brisbane mayor and a federal sports minister, should attend the Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony on Friday.

Palaszczuk indicated she'd be staying in her hotel room.

That didn't sit well with Coates, a powerful vice president for the IOC and one of the driving forces behind Brisbane having received the hosting rights so soon without any real competition.

"You are going to the opening ceremony," Coates told Palaszczuk rather pointedly. "There will be an opening and a closing ceremony in 2032 and all of you, everyone there, has got to understand the traditional parts of that, what's involved in an opening ceremony.

"None of you are staying home and going to be sitting in your room."

The premier did not respond to Coates' suggestion and declined to say why she would not attend the ceremony -- "I don't want to offend anybody, so . . ." She had told critics of her trip to Tokyo that she was only attending the IOC meeting to make a final pitch for the Games and wouldn't attend other functions.

After Palaszczuk was asked why it would be more beneficial to sit in her Tokyo hotel room instead of traveling only a relatively short distance to the National Stadium for the ceremony, she didn't respond.

Coates did on her behalf.

"You've never been to an opening ceremony," he said to Palaszczuk. "You don't know the protocols and I think it's a very important lesson for everyone here - opening ceremonies cost in the order of $75 million to $100 million. My very strong recommendation is the premier and the Lord Mayor and the minister be there and understand it."

Tom Heenan, a Monash University lecturer in Melbourne who specializes in the politics behind the Olympics, said those kinds of comments from an Olympic official "never fail to surprise me."

"The IOC sets the stage, they are all powerful and have no problem dictating terms to political leaders," Heenan said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press. "The fact that the head of the AOC said that he or she should attend is another indication of Olympic autocracy."

Heenan said it's the same reason why the Tokyo Olympics are going ahead despite record new cases of COVID-19 in Japan.

"They push aside public opinion in the middle of a pandemic," Heenan said. "It's only up to the IOC to cancel. All power rides with them."

Later Thursday, Coates issued a statement saying that his comments "have been completely misinterpreted by people who weren't in the room." And suggesting that Palaszczuk will be attending the opening ceremony on Friday?

"Absolutely I believe the premier should come to the opening ceremony and she has accepted," Coates said. "The premier and I have a long-standing and very successful relationship. We both know the spirit of my remarks and I have no indication that she was offended in any way."

© Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.


27 Comments
Login to comment

Absolutely atrocious! What a vile vulgar group the ioc is, for shame!

15 ( +17 / -2 )

“You are going to the opening ceremony," 

Literally the day after the IOC got its hooks into Brisbane they are already brazenly giving commands to democratically elected leaders.

The Olympics are rotten to the core, Brisbane leaders were idiots to submit their city to IOC rule.

12 ( +14 / -2 )

Hey, they railroaded right through Japan's Prime Minister, what's an Aussie state Premier to do? A sports organisation dictating politics, in the midst of a global pandemic. What a time to be alive...

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Bunch of thugs.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Don't ever let him bully you. Stand strong and do what you need to do. John Coates (Fatty VP) is even more evil than Thomas Bach (Baka P).

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Since Queensland has been even stricter than some other states when it comes to Covid travel restrictions and lockdowns for Anastasia now to be going to the ceremonies and mingling with others in Tokyo is painting a big target on her back for her political opponents and media. Alas Coates is da boss and he sure let her know that.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

"I don't want to offend anybody, so . . ." She had told critics of her trip to Tokyo

Too Late you are here in Tokyo for the Olympics you came !!

Its enough already you could have lobbied from your damn living room at home.

"You've never been to an opening ceremony," he said to Palaszczuk. "You don't know the protocols and I think it's a very important lesson for everyone here - opening ceremonies cost in the order of $75 million to $100 million. My very strong recommendation is the premier and the Lord Mayor and the minister be there and understand it."

$100 mill wasted squandered down the drain, and the IOC thug strongly recommends she attends, already strong arming their way around and the Aussie representatives.

These IOC creatures are disgusting !

"The IOC sets the stage, they are all powerful and have no problem dictating terms to political leaders," Heenan said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press. "The fact that the head of the AOC said that he or she should attend is another indication of Olympic autocracy."

Yep ruling and lording it over any country silly enough to want to host the circles of doom.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

11 years, instead of the usual 7, for the International Organized Criminals to extract all they can from Brisbane / Queensland / Australia taxpayers. I wonder what new exorbitant demands the gang of 5-star hotel, red carpet loving mobsters will come up with this time. Good luck.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

It's unbelievable that Palaszczuk thought she could just stay in her room and watch the Opening Ceremony on TV, especially after flying out of the country for the specific purpose of attending the Games when no-one else in Australia can leave it - except of course for the privileged, the athletes, and of course members of the "Olympic family".

She's sold her soul to the devil, now the devil's making it clear who's boss.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

You have to hand it to the IOC. Their arrogance and hubris are completely unaffected by the fact that their public image is taking an absolute thrashing over what's going on in Tokyo. They genuinely do seem to believe that they are above the law and answerable to nobody.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Brisbane have just bought themselves eleven years of stand-over tactics and bullying from the IOC.

Lets hope they stand up to these clowns and if needs be tell them where to stick their Olympics!

3 ( +5 / -2 )

They’re all a bunch of hypocrites!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

If I was Australian, I'd be seething. "One rule for you, none for me"

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Brisbane should cancel now spend the money on infrastructure let no2 city get it….oh that’s right there is no no2.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

There is not a single redeeming diplomatic or political feature between Bach and Coates.

Not one, the duplicity, the need to leverage every dollar from broadcasting rights no matter what the coast to Japans heath care system or people.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Oh come on.

Do you think she was ever going to come to Tokyo an not attend the opening games and some event etc?

Coates is just the scapegoat to hide this for political reasons. Blame him and she can now do all the things she intended whilst looking politically clean. Her skyrocket popularity may reach even newer heights whilst Australians cower in their homes. Yes I know Qld is not currently in lockdown like the other half the country but this won’t last long.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Probably more enjoyable and relaxing for her to watch the ceremony from her air-conditioned hotel room!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

So, she stays in her hotel room- so she should. That is the Coronavirus protocol.

Olympics are awarded to cities, not states or nations.

Therefore Lord Mayor of Brisbane goes - to end ceremony

And he’s a bloke and fossil Coates doesn’t have a gaff with him.

That is the public protocol.

still 11 years till Brisbane. Will Coates and Palaszczuk still be around then?

Say No

Will COVID be around then? Say Probably.

Different people can elbow each other then.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Allegedly $32 billion later and counting..........

For a hop skip and jump, and the measurements of a teen beach volley ballers bikini?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

“We are now a part of the IOC family and I will do what John Coates says.” - Palaszczuk

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Goanna!

Don’t bite the hand that feeds. You are in too deep.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Brisbane won against the wise.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Are we at least starting to get the full picture?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

John Cotes is clearly a very unpleasant person.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Just don’t let Bach nowhere near those games. We don’t need more imbeciles like those in Tokyo.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Shinzo Abe isn't going, is he? So it's not just the sponsors abandoning it.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

In the photo, are Coates and Bach doing the BS theatrics of the elbow bump, or is it more like the nudge, nude "You know what you have to do, luv. Just play your part."?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites