When it comes to competitive sport, Australia is riding a huge wave of success. Earlier this year, the nation performed incredibly well at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, placing sixth overall in the Games. The country came together, watching the likes of Emma McKeon, Ariarne Titmus and Keegan Palmer as they brought home gold after gold.
But perhaps one of the most exciting moments for Australia came before the Games had even begun. Just days ahead of the Opening Ceremony, Australia was selected to host the 2032 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games in Brisbane, Queensland. This will be the third time Australia has hosted the Games since their inception.
To celebrate this announcement, we decided to take a closer look at Queensland’s unique position and how it will benefit the Olympic Games. Of course, who better to comment on the upcoming Games than someone who has been nominated to participate themselves?
Ishani Erandika Senanayake is an international student studying at CQUniversity and an Olympic-nominated swimmer for Sri Lanka. A multi-medal winner at the 2016 South Asian Games, she is one of Sri Lanka’s most promising up-and-coming swimmers, with dreams of competing in the world’s most prestigious sporting event.
In our conversation with Ishani, we look ahead to 2032 and explore how Queensland will make these Olympics the most memorable yet.
Sensational sporting venues
South East Queensland, which includes Brisbane, is the fastest-growing region in Australia. One of its most attractive features is its range of world-class sporting facilities, making it the ideal location for the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
“Brisbane has well-established sporting stadiums. [Much] like [the] Gold Coast did for the 2018 Commonwealth Games, Brisbane will provide a great touristic approach for all those who come to watch and enjoy the Olympic Games,” says Ishani.
Some of Queensland’s most notable sport and leisure venues include:
- The Brisbane Cricket Ground (also known as the Gabba)
- Suncorp Stadium
- Queensland Country Bank Stadium
- Queensland Sport and Athletics Centre
Thanks to this wide range of incredible venues, Queensland is poised to host many sporting events in the decade leading up to the Olympics. In 2022, the NRL Telstra Premiership Brisbane Magic Round will take place in the state, as well as several games as part of the FIFA Women’s World Cup (soccer) in 2023.
Sports fans from all corners of the world can tune in to these events to kickstart the excitement long before the Olympics begin.
A host of sports science experts
When we think about the Olympic and Paralympic Games, our first instinct is to consider the athletes. However, there are so many other people involved behind the scenes to make sure the competition runs smoothly. One of the most important roles is that of a sports scientist.
Sport science is the study of how a healthy human body behaves during exercise. It also examines how sport and physical activity promote both health and performance. In the context of the Olympics, these experts are vital in managing athletes’ diets and training habits.
Fortunately, Queensland is home to many seasoned sports science experts.
“Within Queensland, there are already experienced exercise and sports scientists who are masters [in] their field. [They are very important in] working with and [progressing] the sporting performance of future elite athletes,” says Ishani.
Many of these experts share their insights by teaching at local universities. As a result, it comes as no surprise that several Queensland institutions offer courses in sports science. For example, at CQUniversity, students can enrol in a Bachelor of Exercise and Sport Sciences – which is exactly what Ishani did.
“Throughout my study journey, one of my biggest realisations is that sports science is a massive umbrella that leads to multiple career opportunities. So far, I have learned about nutrition, biomechanics, exercise physiology, sports psychology, exercise prescription and delivery,” she explains.
“I [also] have the privilege of understanding these concepts with hands-on experience throughout residential schools and laboratory sessions.”
Ishani also notes that the sporting facilities at CQUniversity’s Rockhampton campus have been hugely beneficial. Despite not being able to compete at Tokyo 2020, the aquatic facilities at CQUniversity have allowed her to continue her training in preparation for the next Olympic Games.
Queensland: where a warm welcome is always promised
Above all else, if we ask why Queensland is best positioned to host the 2032 Olympics, the answer can be boiled down to one simple element: Australia’s inclusivity.
International sporting events of this calibre inevitably attract people from all corners of the world. When 2032 arrives, it’s more than likely that fans from every participating country will enter Australia to cheer on their athletes. When they do, they will be welcomed with open arms.
Australia is no stranger to diversity, with nearly 30 per cent of its population born overseas. The nation has also been one of the world’s top study destinations for international students. Speaking from experience, Ishani says this sense of inclusivity was one of the first things she noticed.
“[Through my] research, I discovered that Australia has a very friendly environment with strong diversity,” she shares. “It was not long after my arrival that I realised how true this was.”
Although the Games won’t unfold for another decade, Queensland awaits their arrival with confidence and excitement. With world-class facilities, seasoned experts and a welcoming community, there’s no doubt that the state will foster the vibrant and treasured spirit of the Olympic Games.