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Games Icon Wants 2026 Event in Christchurch

Games Icon Wants 2026 Event in Christchurch

September 2, 2014

The opportunity to host another Commonwealth Games should be a key component of the rebuild of Christchurch.

A Games icon and former Vice President of the New Zealand Olympic Committee, Bruce Ullrich, says, if the Games are to return to New Zealand, they should be staged in Christchurch.

“If New Zealand had a chance to bid for the 2026 Commonwealth Games, it would be the turn of Christchurch,” Bruce Ullrich, who held the office of Vice Chairman of the 1974 Commonwealth Games, says.

The four yearly Games usually alternate between the northern and southern hemisphere and, because they’re being held on Australia’s Gold Coast in 2018, they’re likely to return to this part of the world eight years later.

“I would encourage the New Zealand Olympic Committee to choose Christchurch when they make their bid to the Commonwealth Games Federation and for Government to think positively towards Christchurch when backing any bid,” he says.

“The venues required for such as event could be incorporated into the Christchurch rebuild so don’t become an unnecessary cost to the city or New Zealand.”

Because of what they’ve gone through, the people of Christchurch need an event like this to give them focus and lift their spirits, Bruce believes.

“It would be a wonderful catalyst for Christchurch and a chance to rebuild our infrastructure and facilities.”

He emphasises that Commonwealth Games in the future need to be scaled down so they can fit within a country’s budget and, with careful planning, Christchurch could provide the venues as part of its redevelopment.

Bruce, a former Chef de Mission of three New Zealand teams to Olympic and Commonwealth Games, reminds people that the 1974 Games were probably the only financially viable Games in the history of the competition and the same approach and economies of scale could apply to the 2026 event.

He’d love to be present 56 years later if the Games were again successfully staged in Christchurch.


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