Official: Qatar still determined to host Summer Olympics

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Shawn Carpenter/Flickr

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

After scrapping plans to bid on hosting the 2024 Summer Olympics, Qatar officials have started musing about bringing the world’s largest sporting event to the Gulf state in 2028.

Speaking on the sidelines of a sports conference yesterday, Thani al-Kuwari, who was named secretary-general of the Qatar Olympic Committee last March, said the country would unquestionably bid on a future tournament.

AFP reports him as saying:

“The vision and the target is to host one of the Olympics, one day…Maybe 2028.”

Al-Kuwari did not delve on why Qatar decided not to submit a bid to host the 2024 Summer Olympics, except to say officials wanted to ensure any future attempts were “strong in every aspect.”

The 2024 host city is expected to be announced in September 2017. Rome, Paris, Budapest and Los Angeles are all in the running.

Previous attempts

Qatar formally applied to host the 2016 and 2020 Olympics, but ran into opposition over the country’s intense summer heat.

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Sanjiban Ghosh/Flickr

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani – who, in 2012, was the country’s heir apparent and chairman of the Qatar Olympic Committee – attempted to deflect the issue by proposing to hold the games in October.

“You can say we have finally taken the heat out of the Doha heat issue,” he said at the time.

If Qatar had won hosting rights, Olympic officials had also been willing to consider running all outdoor events before 10am or after 6pm to avoid the hottest part of the day.

Since its unsuccessful Olympic bids, Qatar has hosted a slew of major international sporting events.

That includes last year’s Men’s Handball World Championship, the AIBA World Boxing Championships and the International Paralympics Committee Athletics World Championships.

National handball team players/For illustrative purposes only.

Qatar 2015

National handball team players/For illustrative purposes only.

And late last month, Doha was named the host city for the 2023 FINA World Championships and FINA World Masters Championships, which will mark the first time the swimming and aquatic event takes place in the Middle East. Qatar hosted the FINA World Swimming Championships in 2014 and 2013.

The country’s biggest hosting challenge will be the World Cup in 2022, which will leave Qatar with stadiums and training facilities that officials hope can be reused during the Olympics.

“All the facilities are going to be ready for everything, especially after 2022 … (and) the logistics for those facilities are completed, so why not?” al-Kuwari was reported as saying.

The bidding process for the 2028 Olympics is expected to start in 2019.

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