Brisbane 2032: Olympic boss John Coates responds after Annastacia Palaszczuk backlash

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Brisbane’s 2032 Olympic Games celebrations have taken an awkward turn with Australian Olympic Committee boss John Coates ordering Queensland Premier 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 accept the hosting duties, Palaszczuk had planned to watch the festivities from her hotel room on Friday evening.

But as you can watch in the video above, Coates set the trio straight in a bizarre press conference exchange after Brisbane was officially confirmed as the third Australian city to be granted hosting rights.

“You are going to the opening ceremony … as I understand, there will be an opening and closing ceremony in 2032 and all of you are going to get along there and understand the traditional parts of that, what’s involved in an opening ceremony, so none of you are staying behind and hiding in your rooms, all right?” Coates said.

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

The Queensland premier sat silent while the Olympic heavyweight laid down the law – now they’ve both addressed the tense situation. Credit: 7NEWS

“The opening ceremonies cost in the order of $75 million to $100 million, it’s a major exercise for any organising committee.

“It puts a stamp on the Games.”

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

Backlash begins

Former Socceroo and social equality advocate Craig Foster tweeted Coates had shot to the “top of the medal tally in misogyny”.

But the premier attempted to play down the awkward back-and-forth.

“I’m doing whatever John Coates tells me to do,” Palaszczuk told Channel 7’s Sunrise.

“I’m not going to offend anyone from the International Olympic Committee now that we have been awarded the Games. That (attending the opening ceremony) is a matter between John Coates and Thomas Bach but they have said that all three of us need to attend.

“If that’s what they say, I’m not going to offend anyone.”

John Coates
AOC vice-president John Coates (l) is predicting massive TV ratings for the Brisbane Olympic Games. Credit: AP

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