Coates’ blunt Games order for Palaszczuk

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Brisbane’s 2032 Olympics celebrations have taken an uneasy turn with Australian Olympic Committee boss John Coates asking Queensland Prime Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk to change her plans and attend Tokyo’s opening ceremony .

After controversially flying to Japan with Brisbane Mayor Adrian Schrinner and Australian Sports Minister Richard Colbeck to take on hosting duties, Palaszczuk planned to watch the festivities from her hotel room on Friday night.

But Coates set the trio right in a bizarre press conference after Brisbane was officially confirmed as the third Australian city to receive hosting rights.

“You go to the opening ceremony… as I understand there will be an opening and closing ceremonies in 2032 and you will all get along there and understand the traditional parts of that, what goes into an opening ceremonies, so neither of you stay behind and hide in your rooms, okay?” said Coates.

You’ve never been to the opening ceremony of an Olympics, have you? You don’t know the protocols, I think it’s a very important lesson for everyone here.

“The opening ceremony costs on the order of $75 million to $100 million, it’s a big exercise for any organizing committee.

“It leaves a mark on the Games.”

Palaszczuk sat in silence during Coates’ speech, before saying she didn’t mean to offend anyone.

Former Socceroo and social equality advocate Craig Foster tweeted that Coates had shot to the “top of the medal tally in misogyny,” but the prime minister tried to downplay the awkward back and forth on Thursday’s ABC News Breakfast.

“I now understand that there is an expectation from both himself (Coates) and the head of the AOC and vice president of the International Olympic Committee and Thomas Bach, the president (now that Brisbane has won the bid),” she said. .

“If we hadn’t had John Coates, this wouldn’t have happened.

“He’s been able to get all levels of government working together to make this bid and his involvement in business, his networking is absolutely phenomenal.”

During Thursday’s media briefing from Tokyo, Australian mission chief Ian Chesterman said the pair “have a lot of respect for each other” but admitted he hadn’t seen the exchange.

“Can I say they know each other very well… and I know that the Prime Minister is fully capable of making her own decisions about whatever she wants to do,” he said.

Tokyo is facing a staggering financial loss with fans locked out and much of the Japanese population against the Games being staged amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Coates said many athletes still view the Games as the pinnacle of their sporting careers and that Tokyo “may outperform the Sydney Games on television in Australia”.

Organizers hope the Brisbane Games will be cost neutral, meaning no additional cost to taxpayers beyond a $4.5 billion budget covered by ticket sales, sponsorship and the IOC.

“This is ultimately a win for every Queenslander,” said Palaszczuk, predicting an economic benefit of $17 billion.

“This is going to give Queensland a golden age.

“It will be a 10-year investment. It becomes a catalyst for change, opportunity… this is our moment to shine.”

© AAP

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