The Tokyo Olympics could be the best ever, says John Coates

SYDNEY: International Senior Olympic Games official John Coates said the delay on Saturday Tokyo Olympic Games could end up being the best games ever, next year as the world emerges from COVID-19 crisis.

Coates, Australia's Olympic chief and chief of inspection for the International Olympic Committee for the Games, cited examples of positive summer games that followed the two world wars of the 20th century.

The Tokyo Games were postponed for a year until 2021 following the new coronavirus outbreak.

Coates dijo que pensaba que Tokio podría superar incluso la reputación de los Juegos de Sydney 2000, que ayudó a organizar y que el entonces jefe del COI, Juan Antonio Samaranch, describió como los mejores Olympic Games de la historia.

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"Because we all must wait longer than the already-long wait for an Olympic Games , the Games of Tokyo will gently but perceptibly echo the sheer joy and relief of the other delayed Olympic Games of Antwerp in 1920 and London in 1948," he told the annual general meeting of the Australian Olympic Committee.

"I believe the Tokyo Olympic Games may ultimately be amongst the greatest Games ever, if not the greatest. And putting the parochialism of a proud Sydney boy aside ... I certainly hope Tokyo will be."

Turning to future "opportunity", Coates told the meeting, which was held online, that the proposal for Australia to host the Summer Olympic Games for the third time in 2032 was gathering pace.

The bid, centred on South East Queensland around Brisbane, had been given the official backing of the AOC in January, he said, and was now in the phase of "continuous dialogue" with the IOC's Future Host Commission.

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Site planning, mostly existing or temporary, and the location of athlete villages were progressing and the necessary purchase from local, state and national government was in place.

Coates, who ran a failed bid to host the Games in Brisbane in 1992, said an Olympic Games could provide an economic catalyst to help Queensland and Australia out of the expected post- coronavirus recession.

I have always believed in making necessity a virtue. There is already a need for jobs and growth in the Queensland economy arising from the impact of COVID-19, he told his online audience.

Our (government partners) recognize potential for 2032 ... Games as a critical part of the state and nation's short-term economic recovery, apart from all the long-term legacies of health, wellness, economy and sport.

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A decision over which city or region would host the 2032 Olympic Games could be made as early as 2022, he added. Bids from India, Indonesia and a joint proposal from North and South Korea have also been mooted.

Coates, who has been AOC president since 1990, also said he was confident the agency was in good financial shape to go through chaos this time after a series of cost-cutting measures.

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