Ariarne Titmus cannot believe Brisbane Olympics swimming aquatic centre snub

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Aussie pool queen Ariarne Titmus has been left gobsmacked by state government plans to ignore pleas for a world class swimming centre for the 2032 Brisbane Olympics.

Swimming figures have been hitting out at Queensland Premier Steven Miles in recent months over the state government’s plans to host the 2032 Olympics swimming events at a temporary stadium as part of the Brisbane Live entertainment arena to be built at Roma Street in the city centre with $2.5 billion in funding from the federal government.

Despite public calls for the state government to create a “legacy” with a permanent swimming facility, the yet to be approved plan is for swimming to be staged at the Roma Street site without any additional funding.

The stadium policy for the Games has caused uproar this month after Miles announced the state will spend $1.6 billion renovating the Queensland Sports and Athletics Centre (QSAC), at Nathan in the city’s south, allowing it to hold 40,000 people in renovated stands but just 14,000 after the Games are complete.

That boutique venue will have the smallest athletics stadium capacity that the Olympics has seen since the 1928 Games. The opening and closing ceremonies will be held at the rectangular Suncorp Stadium.

The QSAC decision directly rejected an independent review’s signature proposal for a $3.4 billion, 55,000-seat venue to be built in Brisbane’s inner-north at Victoria Park.

Miles also announced he was finally pulling the pin on a hugely controversial knockdown-rebuild proposal for the iconic Gabba cricket ground, which the independent panel concluded would have cost a total of $3.4 billion, up from $1 billion when the plan was initially floated under former Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.

It was reported the Miles government had even considered the possibility of scrapping the Games altogether.

Titmus, it seems, is just as unhappy as everyone else.

The Olympic 200m and 400m freestyle champion told Channel 7 the host city shouldn’t “half-arse” its preparations.

“You can’t not give it your all for an Olympic games and I hope decisions are made with that in mind,” she said.

“Brisbane ‘32 is off the back of the LA Olympics. I know that America do everything big.

“We want to make a statement. We want to put Brisbane on the map.

“We don’t want to half-arse anything. An Olympic games is the biggest sporting event on the planet.

“We want to put our best foot forward.

“I just really hope decisions are made with the athletes in mind. We want to put on a show

“I hope there are no regrets.”

Titmus told News Corp she hopes the bean counters put athletes first.

“The biggest legacy they could leave behind would be an Olympic training centre and I cannot believe that building a (permanent) pool is not on the cards. I just think there needs to be a pool put into the plan.

“I really hope that with all these discussions around the Olympics, the athletes are put first and remembering why we took on the Olympic Games to create a legacy and build our city and inspire the next generation of athletes coming through. I really hope that that is at the forefront of decisions. But I really have no power.’’

Decorated Olympian and property developer Mark Stockwell earlier this month claimed the proposal for a legacy aquatic facility had never been genuinely considered.

Former Swimming Australia CEO Eugenie Buckley last year also went public with calls for the state government to consider a new swimming centre at either the dated Brisbane Aquatic Centre in Chandler — built for the 1982 Commonwealth Games — or the Gold Coast pool used for the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

Titmus said this week she was disappointed that the Olympic swimming trials will take place at the Chandler Pool.

“I cannot believe our Olympic trials are being held in a training facility that was built (in the 80s),’’ said Titmus.

“I feel disappointed in that I don’t feel like we’re putting our best foot forward as a city. We will come off the back of the LA (Los Angeles) Games in 2028. America does everything huge, and I believe that Brisbane can do it better.’’

The Aussie Olympic swimming trials begin June 10.

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