We are all wondering the same thing; “What’s in it for me?”
Between the Australian gold coming out of Tokyo 2020 and our very own golden state recently securing the 2032 Olympics, we’re all wondering the same thing; ‘What’s in it for me?’. We may be more than a decade away from Brisbane 2032, but the legacy starts now.
The Olympics is a major passion for DMA Partners’ James Hood, with property development a close silver. So, it comes as no surprise that James makes it his mission to merge his personal joy of the Games into his professional life.
We sat down with James Hood to discuss the best stories out of Tokyo 2020, how DMA Partners embraced the Olympics this year and the opportunity for Brisbane 2032.
A white elephant no longer
In 2019 I had the opportunity to represent DMA Partners in working alongside the Department of Housing and Public Works to support the development of the business case for Brisbane 2032, focusing on existing state-owned assets, many developed for the 2018 Commonwealth Games, and the planning required to make them Olympic ready.
In implementing their Olympic Agenda 2020, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) proved a learning from white elephants of the past. Olympic Games projects were to have sustainability as part of their DNA from the outset and align themselves with the host city’s long term development plans while still maintaining the magic of the Games. Stadiums such as the Hellinikon Olympic Softball Stadium in Athens, which last hosted a competitive softball game when the USA defeated Australia in the Olympic gold medal game in 2004, were to become a thing of the past.
From a development perspective, this really resonates. We aren’t here to spend money for one moment. We’re here to deliver an Olympic sized project that has the opportunity to be fully aligned with Brisbane, Queensland and Australia’s long-term sports, economic and environmental development plans and provide an impactful and long-lasting legacy.
The bronze medallist city steps up to the podium
For Brisbane 2032, everyone is rightly focussed on jobs, house prices, infrastructure, how businesses can cash in – the list goes on – but stepping back from the detail and potential opportunity is our chance to consider this legacy.
Looking forward to Brisbane receiving the flag from Los Angeles you can’t help but notice the company Brisbane will keep, alongside Paris, Tokyo, Rio, London and Beijing as the most recent hosts, and what impact this will have on the city. We’re in esteemed company, and the Olympics might just elevate us from “if time allows” to “must visit” when travelling to or around Australia. Everything else that is delivered in preparation of the Games is just a bonus. This legacy will be what keeps our economy on the uptick for decades to come.
Brisbane had to work for the Olympics to prove that is could be a success. The IOC’s prerequisite for winning the Olympics bid was that the opportunity would be used as a catalyst for a lasting legacy and the longevity of a city. As the perennial third place city up against Sydney and Melbourne, Brisbane has been given its opportunity to prove that we can deliver on the IOC’s driving factors and be at least a deserving bronze medallist. If the Boomers taught us anything in Tokyo it’s that there is plenty of Rose Gold in Bronze.
The stories winning gold
I had a real love for the Olympics from a young age. Yes, the narrative is always that Australia punches above its weight considering our population. But we don’t really. Yes, seeing a medal added to the tally is always a thrill, but adjust our Tokyo total medal tally for population and Australia comes 14th, just behind Croatia and Denmark. The headlines will always put the emphasis on medals and individual or team performance, and rightly so. But it’s the thousands of motivating, unscripted stories that come out over the weeks of events that will always keep me coming back to the Olympics.
Topping the adjusted medal tally for population in Tokyo, one of my favourite stories was from the San Marino team. This tiny country landlocked by Italy, won its first ever Olympic medal. With a population of 30,000, this made San Marino the smallest country to ever win an Olympic medal. Two days after its first medal in trap shooting, San Marino won its second this time in the mixed competition. The country which waited 61 years for its first medal, only had to wait two days for its second and less than a week later its third, this time in wrestling.
Then there’s the stories which align my interests and profession in the planning and development of the Olympics. Rowing and Sprint Canoe is always a difficult puzzle for Olympic Organisers and in Tokyo they built the Sea Forest Waterway. Japan, not having a venue that meets international standards, created a new venue, which required floats to stop the water reverberating from the ocean to form waves.
But, in January these floats began sinking due to oysters attaching themselves in giant numbers. In total, they removed 14 tonnes of oysters over 5.6 kilometres of equipment by either dragging the floats ashore for repairs or cleaning in place by a team of divers. The final cost of these repairs? Approximately AUD$1.75 million.
It’s all the weird and wonderful moments that come out of the Olympics that I wanted to be able to share with the DMA Partners team. So, together with a TV guide for the office, I shared a daily update highlighting sporting events and stories that might not have made Channel Seven’s replay reel but needed the celebration all the same.
The opportunity to be leveraged
With a range of sporting venues, stadiums, tourism hubs, hotels and public spaces under our belt, DMA Partners is thrilled to be a part of what will become the world stage in 2032. Development advisory and project management plays a crucial role in realising the long-lasting legacy and impact of a project. We are passionate about ensuring the long-term benefit of the Games for the State, local businesses and investors.