The male Australian Olympic official, who secured the 2032 Games for his country, reprimanded a prominent female politician and insisted she attend the opening ceremony in Tokyo, sparking distrust and outrage in Australia.
The awkward exchange took place in front of television cameras at a news conference on Wednesday night after Queensland’s capital Brisbane was confirmed as the host of the 2032 Games.
Australian Olympic Committee President John Coates told Queensland premier Annastasia Palaszczuk that she cannot spend her time “hiding” in her room.
Palaszczuk, 51, had traveled to Japan to secure a bid and was criticized at home, as most Australians are unable to leave or return to the country due to coronavirus border restrictions. she was promised earlier Not attending any event of Tokyo Olympics
Coates, 71, took issue with her at the convention, saying: “You’re going to the opening ceremony. I am still the vice president of the candidacy leadership group. As far as I understand, the opening and closing ceremony will take place in 2032.
He extended his urge to other Queensland politicians who had accompanied Palaszczuk, adding: “You’re all going to go there and understand the traditional parts of it, what’s involved in an opening ceremony, so none of you are behind.” Isn’t living and hiding in his rooms, okay?”
Palaszczuk declined to say why she would not attend the ceremony. Coates, the vice president of the International Olympic Committee, pressed him by saying, “You’ve never been to the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games, have you?”
After Palaszczuk shook his head, Coates continued to insist: “You don’t know the protocol.” Because the Olympic opening ceremony is a major responsibility for organizers and it costs $75 million to $100 million to put up, Coates said, “it’s my very strong recommendation” that Palaszczuk and other officials join.
In an interview with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation on Thursday morning, Palaszczuk downplayed the exchange, saying that Brisbane “is now part of the IOC family, and I’m going to do what John Coates said.”
He added that Brisbane would not have been chosen as the host of 2032 “if we had not had John Coates.” But when asked directly if she would attend Friday’s opening ceremony, she said she didn’t want to hurt the IOC or the Japanese government, adding, “I’ll let them sort it out.”
I asked an interview On Thursday morning had he “rejected” Palaszczuk, Coates quipped and said: “Yeah, I did.”
The exchange sparked outrage in Australia, with Coats labeling Coates’ behavior “horrendous” and “arrogant”, saying he would not have made the same remarks for a male prime minister.
Leigh Russell, former Chief Executive Officer of Swimming Australia, wrote On Twitter: “This is disgusting. And yet another example of how women are treated in sports. “
“What a condescending, patronizing man,” Jane Caro, a feminist commentator, tweeted. “How dare he tease the Premier of Queensland in public as if she were a mischievous schoolgirl?”
The Australian Olympic Committee did not immediately respond to a request for comment.