Date published: 
19 July 2021
Media type: 
Transcript
Audience: 
General public

Question:

… to be here on the ground in Tokyo?

Richard Colbeck:

Very excited to be here, it’s been [indistinct] for Australia, for Brisbane and Queensland. I’m looking forward to playing my part in hopefully successfully bringing home the ’32 Games.

Question:

Minister, how concerned are you about the evolving situation on the ground and the fact that our athletes have arrived to an infected village?

Richard Colbeck:

Well, I think we all understood that there was always a risk that COVID would be in the village. So, significant precautions have been taken by the IOC and the AOC to safeguard the athletes. They all understand that. We’ve been living with COVID at home; it’s a [indistinct] situation here, just as it is at home at the moment. I send my enormous gratitude to the Japanese people for having us here. This is a huge event for the world, it will give a lot of people a lot of joy and we all thank the Japanese people for having us here.

Question:

Just how important is it to lock in this bid to bring the Olympics to Brisbane in 2032?

Richard Colbeck:

Well, it’s a huge thing for Australia. It’s the biggest sporting event in the entire world. And if you think of the eight, nine, ten year olds who are sitting at home today, aspiring to be an Olympian, the opportunity for them to compete on home soil in just over a decade is enormous. It’s a huge opportunity. We saw it in 2000 when Cathy Freeman and so many others performed so brilliantly. So, the opportunity to bring the games back to Australia for a third time, to be the only nation who’s compete- what will be one of only two nations that’s competed at every summer games. So we have a huge history with this and it’s an enormous event for Australia. I’m really looking forward to playing my part in the bidding process to bring the games home.

Question:

Is this a meet- sorry. Is this a meeting that yourself and the Premier could’ve done over Zoom?

Richard Colbeck:

Well, that’s not what the IOC told us. They’re allocating to us the biggest sporting event on the planet. I think that their request that Australia is personally represented here to present to the IOC is a fair request, and I think it’s reasonable that we make the effort to come.

Question:

And Minister, you know, in terms of the COVID situation, what kind of message can you give to the Australian athletes on behalf of the Australian Government and how they can manage that, and how they can manage the expectations of the Australian pubic?

Richard Colbeck:

Well look, I think the athletes have been through an enormous amount over the last 12 months with the games having been postponed. They’ve done a lot in preparation, they’re performing magnificently at the moment. They understand, I think, precautions that they need to take. It’s no different to the things that the Australian Government’s been saying to the Australian people over the course of the pandemic – look after your own personal hygiene; hand etiquette, keep- you know, wash your hands; maintain a safe distance from people. All of those disciplines need to be maintained. And they’ll have a great time here. A huge opportunity. Fantastic expectations from the Australian community. And we really look forward to Australian athletes performing well.

We’ve been in a very fortunate situation over the last 12 months. We’ve had the opportunity to move relatively freely within the country. So, I think, an enormous opportunity, and I know Australian’s are looking forward to seeing our athletes performing on the international stage.

It’ll bring a lot of joy to a lot a people. We’ll find some new heroes. We’ll meet some new people… and, we’re all looking forward to it. The world’s looking forward to it. As I said, this event will bring a lot of joy to a lot of people around the world, and we all thank the Japanese people for having us here. Thank you.

Question:

Thank you so much, Minister. Thank you. Enjoy your stay and stay safe.