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The long-awaited Tokyo Summer Olympics kicked off on Friday, and the world will be watching in the weeks to come as athletes go for the gold.
With Brisbane, Australia, recently announced as the host of the 2032 Summer Games, glimpse into the future with the International Olympic Committee's plans for the next decade. All five of these cities will also stage the Paralympics during their host year.
Six short months after the Tokyo Games come to a close, the Chinese capital will host the 2022 Winter Olympics, which begin on Feb. 4 of next year. Beijing most recently hosted the Summer Olympics in 2008, and some IOC officials are already pushing for spectators to attend amid Tokyo's historic spectator ban due to COVID-19 concerns.
"We need and we want to have spectators," said Juan Antonio Samaranch Jr., head of the IOC's coordination commission, Reuters reported on July 22. "We want to have the opportunity for everybody to enjoy the hospitality and enjoy the great Chinese offers."
However, controversy emerged this spring when human rights activists and politicians around the world – including a bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers – demanded the IOC relocate the 2022 Olympics from Beijing over reported human rights violations, which China denies. The fate of the upcoming Winter Games remains to be seen.
Magnifique! France's capital city will host the Summer Olympics in 2024, 100 years after it last hosted the Games, which were also in the summer. Breakdancing will be introduced as a sport for the first time, and the City of Light's landmarks will make for magical backdrops for many of the events.
According to the Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau, beach volleyball will be played opposite the Eiffel Tower on the Champs de Mars, while fencing and Taekwondo will take place in the Grand Palais. Archery will be hosted on the esplanade at Invalides, and cyclers will ride along the Champs-Elysées. Soccer games will be played in the Parc des Princes, while tennis and boxing are scheduled for Roland Garros stadium.
Dreamiest of all, the equestrian events will commence in the park of the Palace of Versailles.
Milan and Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy
In a unique two-city format, Milan and Cortina d'Ampezzo will co-host the 2026 Winter Olympics. These will be the first Winter Games in Milan; Cortina d'Ampezzo hosted the Winter Olympics in 1956. Seventy years later, the northern Italian cities — which are about five hours apart — will bring the tradition back to "the boot" once again.
Already planning ahead, the IOC approved ski mountaineering as a sport for the 2026 Games, Reuters reported on July 20.
Ski mountaineering involves skiing and hiking up — and down — mountain trails, according to ESPN. The sport will have five events, including a mixed-gender relay.
In adding it to the docket, the IOC cited the sport's history and popularity in host nation Italy, as well as its expansion through the U.S. and Canada, among other countries.
Los Angeles, U.S.A.
The Games will come stateside for the first time in 26 years, and back to Los Angeles for the first time in 44 years, with the 2028 Summer Olympics. The event has already been branded "LA28" for the California city, with organizers pledging to "reignite America's passion for the Olympic Movement for generations to come" in its mission statement.
Notably sustainable, no new permanent athletic venues will need to be constructed for LA28, as the Golden State is already home to an array of world-class facilities.
In another fun fact of the game plan, the Athlete's Village will be hosted at the University of California, Los Angeles, welcoming more than 15,000 hopefuls to the campus centrally located between Hollywood and Santa Monica.
G'day mate! Brisbane was announced as the host of the 2032 Summer Olympics on July 21, bringing the Games to the Australian hub for the first time ever.
In an interesting twist, the capital of Queensland will be the first non-major city to host the prestigious sporting event for the first time in years. According to the Associated Press, Brisbane's bid ultimately got the green light from the IOC as "a passion-driven, athlete-centric offer from a sports-loving nation."
"We want to show the world that mid-sized cities and regions can host the Games without financial distress or missed deadlines," Annastacia Palaszczuk, Premier of Queensland, told IOC voters.
Committed to sustainability, 84 percent of the requisite stadiums and venues are already standing for the 2032 Games, with the Gabba — Brisbane's famous cricket stadium — set to be renovated just in time.
To learn more about Team USA, visit TeamUSA.org. Watch the Tokyo Olympics beginning July 23 and the Tokyo Paralympics beginning August 24 on NBC.