Queensland Matildas hyped for home Olympics in Brisbane 2032
Brisbane has been awarded the rights to host the 2032 Olympic Games. This will mark the third time Australia has played host to the world after Melbourne in 1956 and Sydney in 2000.
While focus is squarely on Tokyo 2020, for Matildas Teagan Micah and Emily Gielnik who grew up in Brisbane, the 2032 news is special.
“It's unreal. When I first got told I was stoked. There are no words to describe that feeling,” Micah said.
“It’s so exciting for the young kids growing up, for people like myself, for everyone to get around Australia as a nation.
"For Queensland to host the most prestigious sporting event in the world, it's just massive.”
A home Olympics will inspire the next generation of budding sporting stars. For a lot of this current crop of Matildas, watching the Sydney 2000 Games as kids ignited a desire to represent their country at an Olympics.
“I remember just sitting in front of the TV, the Olympic torch was a big thing for me, everyone running with the Olympic torch” Gielnik, who was eight years old during the Sydney Games, remembered.
“You have those hopes and dreams as a kid and as you're watching the TV and you're seeing the girls play, and you're watching all the sports and you never know if you're going to be there one day, but you have that feeling in your heart, even as a kid, you can dream it and you're not to really know what the future holds.”
“Now that I'm here [in Tokyo], it's pretty special to think that I just had a young dream as a kid watching in front of the TV.”
“Thinking about the kids now having 2032 Olympics in Australia, what an amazing opportunity. I hope they're doing the same thing sitting in front of the TV with hopes and dreams to be there one day.”
While the Olympics lit the spark, going out and having a go is what really sets people up for a lifelong love affair with football.
Micah hopes that the next generation of Matildas will watch the 2032 Games and dare to be what they see, emulating their heroes.
“I hope it inspires so many young girls to just have a go. Football is such a great sport and to be able to represent your country at the Olympics, at a home Olympics, it's phenomenal. There will be no greater honour.
"Just get out there and have a go and you never know where the journey will take you.”
Gielnik knows the importance of having a go after she started football at 12 years old after playing basketball. She’s now at her very first Olympic Games.
“I think the idea of having a go is probably what got me to where I am today. Obviously, I loved sport. It wasn't football in particular at the start, I just knew I wanted to play the game. And then having a go at it without any pressure or expectation, that's what really drove me to fall in love with it.”
“So I encourage all kids and everyone who loves sport to get out there and have a go. Whether it's football or just being active, going and enjoying yourself with teammates is something special and something every child should have in their childhood.”
Both Micah and Gielnik know that Brisbane will turn it on for the Olympics with great weather and friendly people.
“Brisbane people are chill, they're great people, so friendly. They get around their sport that's for sure. They can turn up in numbers so I hope everyone can come and experience Brisbane.” Micah said.
For Gielnik, the energy in 2032 will be "unbelievable."
“When it comes to sport, the energy is crazy [in Brisbane] so I know the stadiums will be surreal. You won't be able to hear yourself out there and the energy in the air will be electric.”