Call me a sentimental silly old sausage if you must but I’ve been having surges of sooky emotion ever since hearing at 6.30pm last night that Brisbane has won the rights to host the 2032 Olympics and Paralympics.
Well, more than the normal amount, certainly.
I’m not sure what’s going on with me lately but I went through a box of Kleenex rewatching Silence of the Lambs the other night.
I’m not saying the Olympics announcement prompted an audible sob on my part, as it did – repeatedly – when Ash Barty won the ladies singles crown at Wimbledon and last Tuesday morning when I woke up to realise I’d only gotten up five times during the night to go to the toilet.
As a Brisbane boy bred and born – I’ve always thought that’s the natural sequence of events – I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m completely chuffed that Brisbane will host the big O and I’ve asked the missus if she’d mind taking my urn to the opening ceremony were she to be lucky enough to get a ticket.
As a callow youth growing up in what was then Brisbane’s far outer northern suburbs, I had three dreams: to see the suburb of my childhood – Chermside – become the Hollywood of Australia, to one day be prime minister of this great nation of ours and for my home town to one day host the Olympics!
Well, shit happens …. and one out of three ain’t bad.
I still find it a little hard to believe … and I stop typing here momentarily as another pleasant wave of emotion floods over me that brings me close to a shudder if not that audible sob I crave on this news – is that in eleven short years, people are going to say: “Rome. London. Paris. Brisbane.” and it won’t jar one little bit.
I need to confess that I never saw Brisbane ever reaching the status of a world city – let alone an Olympics one – with that embarrassingly tiny 3ft 6in narrow railway gauge. The Games budget is going to blow out to billy-O anyway so I beseech the city’s leaders to at the very least upgrade the metropolitan network to at least 6ft to put Melbourne and Sydney well and truly in their place.
Would there be a better way to gauge Brisbane’s superiority over its southern sisters?
I’ll admit also that in my adult decades, I’ve been a little harsh on my home town for other reasons too. I tried for a while after that sickening BrizVegas got a roll-on to get Brisbanal trending without any success at all.
And I have been rather treasonous from time to time by suggesting that Brisbane is a great stopping-off point on your way to somewhere interesting.
That view’s been around a long time. In a highly unsuccessful book, Baby Koala Blender Horror, that I penned with some other chap whose name now escapes me back in 1983, we had a chapter of the 1001 exciting things to do in and around Brisbane. There were actually five things such as visiting the hanging flower baskets at the South Brisbane interstate train station that we asked readers to repeat 199 times over!
Sorry, Brisbane. That was then. But now: “Rome. London. Paris. Brisbane.” WOW!
And I’m never, ever, going to sing again my version of that Channel 7 ditty from long ago: “Love you Brisbane … ‘cos you mean the pits to me!”
And despite my earlier joke about maybe not being around come 2032, could I perhaps even dream as someone who was a pretty average sports kid of competing in the River City games?
Each host can nominate a couple of sports, right?
I’ve been practicing all my life and am now totally prepared to move training up to a whole new level of ball-handling skills should the Games of the XXXV Olympiad in Brisbane and on the Gold and Sunshine Coasts include pocket billiards.