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Australian Olympic Committee boss John Coates defends delicate exchange with Queensland Prime Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk |  Olympic Games News


John Coates, one of the most powerful leaders of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), raised his eyebrows when he told the Prime Minister at a press conference that she was due to attend Friday’s ceremony with d other members of the Australian delegation.

Last updated: 07/22/21 10:26 AM

Australian Olympic Committee boss John Coates has led the AOC for over 30 years

Australian Olympic Committee boss John Coates has defended his delicate exchange with Queensland Prime Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk after drawing criticism for publicly ordering her to attend the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Games.

Coates, one of the most powerful leaders of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), raised his eyebrows when he told the Prime Minister at a press conference that she was due to attend Friday’s ceremony with other members of the Australian delegation.

The exchange came after Brisbane was named host of the 2032 Olympics and Paralympics.

“You are going to the opening ceremony,” Coates told Palaszczuk, who traveled to Tokyo as representative of Brisbane’s bid.

“I am still vice-president of the nominations steering group.

“And as far as I know, there will be an opening ceremony and a closing ceremony in 2032, and you all have to get along there and understand the traditional parts of that, what an opening ceremony involves. .

“So none of you stay and hide in your rooms, okay.”

Palaszczuk replied: “I don’t want to offend anyone, so …”

Coates’ comments sparked outrage on social media, and he has been accused of misogyny and “mansplaining” by some Australian media experts.

However, Coates claims his comments were “misinterpreted” by people who were not in the room.

“The Prime Minister and I have a long and very successful relationship,” Coates said in a statement.

“We both know the spirit of my remarks and I have no indication that she was offended in any way. Those in doubt should ask her.”

Coates has led the AOC for over 30 years and was instrumental in Brisbane’s winning bid, with Palaszczuk claiming that there had been no issues between her and Coates after the exchange.

“It’s fantastic, if we hadn’t had John Coates this wouldn’t have happened,” Palaszczuk told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation of Brisbane’s successful bid.

“John Coates was the driving force behind us to secure the Olympics.”

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