Australian Consul-General Geoff Walsh proposed a toast to Sydney and Hong Kong's Lee Lai-shan as Atlanta handed over the Olympic flag to the Mayor of the next host city. While the hopes and fears of Atlanta fade, Australians are already preparing for the 2000 Games. Mr Walsh, who witnessed the thrill of Hong Kong's first gold medal, also felt the fallout of the Atlanta bombing. What's on your mind? If you look at the way successes in sport attract young people to emulate people who have succeeded, Hong Kong has been given a tremendous stimulus. Just looking at the newspapers, you can see that sense of shared pride - the Olympic spirit is going to be alive and well in Hong Kong. Hong Kong people are very serious about their sport. They practise hard; they are committed to trying to improve. How do you feel about Sydney hosting the Olympics? It's a mixture of things. It's a challenge, a matter of tremendous pride, particularly in the year 2000 and, in particular, in the Asia-Pacific region. It's not just a big deal for Australia, it's a terrific opportunity for the whole region. There's a range of considerations and emotions - pride, excitement, opportunity. How will the Sydney Games differ from Atlanta? Each has a special flavour, a special character. The Sydney Games will reflect, we hope, lots of good things about Australia - the multicultural character of society, a young nation that takes sport very seriously and has a great passion for it. What lessons will Sydney learn from the Atlanta bombing? Obviously, a tragic event like that does focus people's minds on the challenge. One of the Sydney organisers has said they will be looking again at security planning and making sure they strike a balance between a sound security framework and still allowing people to come into the Games. It's always difficult to provide 100 per cent, absolute security. I think the Atlanta organisers put in lots of effort; we'll certainly put every effort into it as well, and you can only hope those things will provide a safe and secure Games. You will have returned home before the next Olympics; what will your successor be doing during the 2000 Games? Like me, they'll probably be watching it as much as they can and keeping an eye on two sets of athletes - Australia's and Hong Kong's.