Next year marks two decades since Cathy Freeman lit the Olympic cauldron inside Sydney's Homebush Stadium, igniting an event that would inspire the city and the nation.

In the years following the success of Sydney 2000, the prospect of a third Australian Olympics has been floated from time to time, but more as a patriotic pipe-dream than a formulated plan.

Watch the video above of Brisbane's Olympics bid

But the dream of another Aussie Games is fast becoming something to get excited about.

This week a delegation nicknamed "Team Queensland" accepted a very rare and important invitation to fly to the home of the Olympic movement: Lausanne, Switzerland.

Led by Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, the bi-partisan and multi-government level team attended meetings with International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach.

The Olympic boss was so impressed with Brisbane and Queensland during a recent trip to Australia that he invited the premier to travel to Switzerland to further discuss the possibility of hosting the 2032 Games.

The meetings included very senior IOC officials and technical experts, on hand to answer questions of Team Queensland about how an Olympics could work.

The Australian delegation was able to highlight that around 85 per cent of the venues required already exist.

More Queensland news on 7NEWS.com.au

This marries perfectly with the IOC's new focus on leaving a legacy and not burdening cities with unused and unneeded sporting infrastructure.

The meetings lasted six hours.

Sources inside the room say the interest and positivity was obvious: "It was like a first date that just kept going."

Following the briefings, Premier Palaszczuk, President Bach and Australian Olympic Committee President John Coates held a joint press conference. Mr Bach's praise for Queensland's preparation was glowing.

"We are even more impressed than I was already during my recent visit in Brisbane and Queensland," Bach said.

"This project has all the ingredients to become successful."

And this sporting courting process all comes before Queensland's hat is even officially in the ring.

In true Swiss style, the premier has remained neutral on the likelihood of an official bid.

But the European visit has been about talking up the benefits for her state.

'This could be a golden age for Queensland,' she said.

A state government taskforce is crunching the numbers of what a games would cost, exploring if they're feasible and gauging the appetite of the public for the inevitable expense.

The premier has brought forward to timeline for that taskforce to reach and decision.

She says Queenslanders may know by the end of November if the Sunshine State will go for gold.

With all the positive vibes flowing from the banks of Lake Geneva it's easy to overlook the giant hurdles that would have to be overcome to secure the 2032 Games.

The taskforce is working to an estimated figure of more than AUD5 billion. A big number, but likely offset by an IOC contribution of $2.5 billion.

Olympic officials have suggested the games could be cost neutral.

Recent changes to the bidding process means regions, not just cities, can apply to host the games.

A 2032 games in Australia would be held at venues across the south east of the state with Brisbane, the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast the main focus.

This broadens the economic benefits but creates transport and logistic issues.

Some supporters of the proposal see it as a catalyst to bring forward projects like fast rail connections between the cities, along with upgrades to major roads, but this significantly adds to the ultimate cost of the games.

There is no obvious option for a main stadium to hold events and an opening and closing ceremony.

A venue with a capacity of around 60,000 would be needed, but doesn't currently exist.

An upgraded Gabba Stadium could reach that figure but Coates says that option is unlikely.

That leaves a brand new rectangular stadium as the only solution but Brisbane doesn't need two, thus presenting a problem for the Gabba.

Adding to the issues, the government recently announced a $35 million upgrade for the ageing facility and the $5.4 billion Cross River Rail project was specifically designed to align with the cricket and AFL venue.

In the favour of SEQ 2032 is time.

The same IOC changes that now allow regions to bid have also made the timeline for announcing successful bidders more flexible.

It is now for the IOC to decide how far out from a games the host can be announced.

Thomas Bach suggests a 10-year window would allow cities or regions to better manage the organising process and create a cost-effective event.

But while the event is still more than 12 years away, that isn't stopping Team Queensland from moving fast.

Keen to capitalise on the goodwill created at the Lausanne meetings, an organising team is pushing ahead as if the bid will happen.

An early candidature announcement would give Queensland the front running ahead of other likely contenders, including Germany, Indonesia, China and Russia.

As one person close to the project confidently claimed, "if we go in and go in early, it's ours to lose."

If Queensland nominates and is successful it will be more than three decades between the moment Cathy Freeman claimed gold in the Sydney Olympic Stadium and the games returning to Australia.

Continue Reading

on 7NEWS.com.au

Featured