Every four years the eyes of the world fixate on a single city as they host the biggest peacetime event this planet knows: The Olympic Games. Cities such as London, Paris, Los Angeles and Australia’s own Melbourne and Sydney have had the honour of hosting the greatest athletes in the world on at least one occasion over the last 114 years.
And while the honour role of cities may read out to be some of the biggest and leading cities in the world, it does not include one city that many people believe would have more chance at becoming the capital of Australia than hosting an Olympic Games.
That city is Hobart.
Yes, Hobart, the capital of our beautiful State of Tasmania. Population 219,287, second oldest city in the country and home of some of the most pristine and untouched landscapes in the world. And while you may scoff at Hobart bidding for an Olympic games as nothing more than delusions of grandeur, the support for such a campaign may actually surprise and even more please you.
recently featured in Tasmanian Life magazine in their May issue, with its editor Jonathan Mathys daring to dream about what an Olympics in Hobart would be like in ten years. The stunning opening ceremony at the exceptional David Foster Stadium, surrounded by some of the most architecturally unique stadiums in history (all carbon neutral in their design) and all reached by environmentally friendly roads and bypasses.
And it isn’t just this magazine that you know and love who is getting on board. Over the last couple of months articles have appeared in The Mercury, The Examiner, The Age, The Australian and on some of the leading online news websites such as Ninemsn and Yahoo7. The coverage doesn’t just stop at newspapers, with leading radio stations in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane all scrambling to interview members of the bid, as well as invite their listeners to call in and discuss it, and it was even a topic of interest on Channel 9’s national Sunday Morning sports show Wide World Of Sports.
It is clear that the bid is getting Tasmania and Australia talking. This is also the case online, with a key factor in the drive behind the bid on social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. At time of print, the Hobart 2020 Olympics support page on Facebook had a staggering 9310 fans, which had been achieved in less than 4 months. A phenomenal effort considering the lack of advertising taken up by the group through the site.
And what is even more interesting to note is that out of that 9310 fans, only 10% of them come from Hobart. In fact, Hobart ranks fourth on the list of cities that have fans on the support page, behind Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra, who have the most fans with 17% coming from the nation’s capital. In all a total of 19 cities are represented on the Facebook support page, spreading out as far as Mumbai and New Delhi in India, Sunbury in Canada, Washington and San Jose in the United States and the home of the next Summer Olympics in 2012 London.
It is clear to see that a bid for the Hobart Olympics has wide reaching support from all over the globe. In fact some comments relating to the bid back up that evidence.
Donald Hagenwald from Chicago in the United States proudly declares: “Hobart could have- no- WILL have the best Olympics EVER!”
Stephen Bryant-Hiscock from Southampton in England also boasts: “Good luck Hobart! Can’t think of a more beautiful destination to host the games!”
And support from other people across the nation is quite astounding too, with one particular comment from Maddy Sultan of the Gold Coast declaring: “What a fantastic idea! Whoever began this deserves recognition! They are a true icon to the state of Tasmania!”
With the far reaching nature of the bid spreading across the world wide web like a wildfire, other networks online such as YouTube and Twitter have also become large discussion points for the bid, and the leading online news site for Olympic Games bidding information gamesbids.com have not only featured the bid in their news section but also has several active topics in their forums relating to the bid.
One of those relates to possible hosts for the Commonwealth Games in Australia after the Gold Coast games in 2018, with Hobart leading the poll with 56.25% of the total vote.
And a simple Google search for “2020 Olympics” brings 3 of the top 10 searches up relating to the Hobart bid. It is clear to see by all of this evidence that the bid has not only everyone talking, but far reaching levels of support Worldwide.
But this support no matter how large it is will not win Hobart the Olympics. Far from it. The bid itself will not go anywhere without any formal backing from the State and Federal government, and then from that backing and official support is needed by the Australian Olympic Committee itself before even an official application can be lodged to the International Olympic Committee for consideration. What the support will do however is show the powers that be that the community highly supports a Hobart bid for the Olympic Games, be it in 2020 or even for future bids in 2024, 2028 and so on.
Even by reading this article you no doubt now have an opinion on how an Olympics in Hobart could or could not work and whether or not you support it or still think it’s a pipe dream best left in the fiction section. So why not pick up your pen or pick up your phone and spread the word because even you could help bring the greatest show on earth to the greatest city on earth, simply by having a voice in the community.
As Abraham Lincoln famously said: “With public sentiment, nothing can fail. Without it, nothing can succeed”. The Hobart 2020 Olympic bid has the public sentiment, now it just remains to be seen if it will come out on top.