Gold Coast double dip

POTENTIAL: A proposal has been muted by Tourism Australia and Gold Coast Tourism that the Gold Coast and Brisbane submit a bid for the 2032 Olympics. Picture: AAP Image/Dave Hunt
POTENTIAL: A proposal has been muted by Tourism Australia and Gold Coast Tourism that the Gold Coast and Brisbane submit a bid for the 2032 Olympics. Picture: AAP Image/Dave Hunt

So the boss of Tourism Australia and his Gold Coast counterpart want the 2018 Commonwealth Games host city to bid for the 2032 Olympics.

It’s actually the next one available, the International Olympic Committee having awarded the next two after Tokyo 2020 as a job lot after fearing no other city might bid for 2028. So the tourism boffins are not holding back.

It’s interesting that it’s the tourism sector that’s first off the mark.

Perhaps it’s because they’re the ones who reap the benefit without any accountability for delivery or responsibility to find the huge amount of money to prepare and stage a Games.

The politicians are holding back – but we can be sure they will be on the bandwagon shortly.

It’s the sports administrators who will, and should, keep their powder dry for much longer.

And for the leaders of sport this must be a time to draw a line in the sand.

If Brisbane and the Gold Coast are permitted by the IOC to present a joint bid – and it’s something that the Lords and Ladies of the Rings should get their heads around and allow – then for the next 14 years the two cities must earn the right to bid and host by becoming champions of Olympic sport in Australia.

The Gold Coast could show its serious by making a radical decision today to halt the plan to rip up the athletics track at Carrara - and find a new home for the Gold Coast Suns. They are playing better away from home in any case.

And that’s just not because an Olympic bid is a possibility, but even more so because Carrara has proven to be an exceptional venue for athletic performance.

Few stadiums in the world provide the environment for all track and field athletes to perform at their best.

But here at Carrara from Nick Miller’s 80m throw to win the hammer throw on day one to Joshua Chepetgei and Mohammed Ahmed’s magnificent duel in the 10,000 metres on Friday night, there have been stacks of records, personal bests and world ranking performances.

And in a competition like the Commonwealth Games in which the best results are usually only expected among the medallists at best, the depth in many events has been truly outstanding.

MEMORABLE: Joshua Kiprui Cheptegei's win over Mohammed Ahmed in the 10,000m was just one stunning athletics moment. Picture: AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein

MEMORABLE: Joshua Kiprui Cheptegei's win over Mohammed Ahmed in the 10,000m was just one stunning athletics moment. Picture: AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein

Taking into account that this is indeed the Commonwealth Games, that it’s very early in the athletics year for the majority of competitors and many countries chose developmental teams – it says massive amounts about the suitability of the venue.

It’s nothing special for AFL – it’s already clearly the opposite for track and field.

Great tracks for great athletics performances are not a dime a dozen around the world.

While no one knew before the stadium was adapted that this would eventuate, we shouldn’t automatically be acquiescing on Plan A.

Carrara might well become a mecca for the best athletes in the world.

Certainly when non-Commonwealth athletes and their coaches have a good look at the results from the past week they will be hoping to find a way to run, jump or throw at the facility.

Sadly none of them would know that as of Sunday, it will be a thing of the past.

No bigger statement could be made by any guru planning a bid for a Gold Coast Olympics than a bombshell announcement that the athletics track is to remain at Carrara.

No bigger warning shot could be fired by the Australian Olympic Committee and national sporting federations that without such a commitment to Olympic sport, no bid for 2032 or any other year would be supported.

The problem with the occasional enthusiasm from tourism kings and politicians for Games’ sports is that it is occasional. It’s only when they can see a benefit for themselves.

What’s needed is a genuine and permanent commitment that makes life easier for current and future generations of athletes, coaches, officials and administrators from the grass roots to international representation.

And if it cannot be permanent – then surely 14 years is not too much to ask.