Thu, 29 Jul 2021

© Provided by Xinhua

Australia's Prime Minister described Brisbane's successful bid to host the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games as a "great result" for the country.

CANBERRA, July 22 (Xinhua) -- Australia's Prime Minister (PM) has described Brisbane's successful bid to host the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games as a "great result" for the country.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) on Wednesday evening awarded Brisbane - the capital of Queensland in northeast Australia - the right to host the Summer Games in 2032.

Brisbane will become the third Australian city to host the Olympics after Melbourne in 1956 and Sydney in 2000.

Speaking on Thursday, PM Scott Morrison said that the IOC's decision was a major morale boost for the more than 13 million Australians currently in lockdowns to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

"The securing of the 2032 Games for Australia in Brisbane and South East Queensland...is a great result for Australia and a great boost at a time when Australians around the country - particularly in southern states - are doing it tough as we battle through this most recent episode we're going through in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"There will be kids who are turning up at the Valley Pool in Brisbane this morning and all around the country doing their training knowing they put those laps in, then they too might be able to compete in an Olympic Games held in Australia.

"That is just such a thrilling, thrilling idea, a thrilling notion that kids around the country, whether they're playing hockey or they're swimmers or whatever they happen to be, that they can look forward to that. It's a great boost for Australian sport."

The Games actually comes as the number of children playing sport in Australia falls.

According to AusPlay, which provides data on almost 400 participation sports nationally, the number of children playing organized sport outside of school fell from 55 percent to 43 percent in 2020.

Rob Dalton, the head of Sport Australia, described the 11-year lead-up to the 2032 Olympics as "the golden runway."

"We're really concerned about the drop off in participation in sport, particularly because of COVID," he told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC).

"This is a reset for us...to make Australians stronger through sport."

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