John Coates appears set to become Honorary Life President when he steps down as President ©Getty Images

An Honorary Life President role at the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) which John Coates would qualify for has been created at the organisation's Annual General Meeting (AGM).

It was one of three amendments made to the AOC's constitution.

The AGM was held virtually for the first time ever owing to the coronavirus pandemic and streamed online to the public.

One of the other amendments to the constitution was a provision to allow online voting at general meetings, with the other seeking to provide clarification around powers associated with the gifting of assets from the AOC to the Australian Olympic Foundation (AOF).

In his address, AOC President Coates accepted that sport and the Olympic Movement faced challenging times because of the coronavirus crisis, but maintained optimism surrounding Tokyo 2020.

"I believe the Tokyo Olympics may ultimately be amongst the greatest Games ever, if not the greatest," he said.

Coates is chairman of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Coordination Commission for Tokyo 2020.

The economic realities of the pandemic have already hit the AOF though, with its net assets falling by almost 12 per cent in the first quarter of 2020.

Net assets at March 31 2020 stood at AUD150.85 million (£75.4 million/$93.5 million/€86 million), down from AUD171.4 million (£85.7 million/$106.3 million/€97.7 million) just three months earlier.

Many are forecasting a deep global recession and Coates insisted that an Australian bid for the 2032 Olympics could help to combat this, with Queensland - headlined by the city of Brisbane - planning a bid.

Coates said there was "already a need for jobs and growth in the Queensland economy arising from the impact of COVID-19" and that the Games could be "a critical part of the state and nation’s economic recovery in the short term".

It has been claimed that 80 per cent of venues of a 2032 Games in Queensland have already been built, and that the main focus would instead be on infrastructure projects.

Coates has been a vocal supporter of the bid and hopes all levels of Government will also support it - Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk certainly does.

As set out in the AGM's agenda, the Honorary Life President position can be awarded to a person who has served as AOC President for at least 13 years and has "rendered outstanding service to the Olympic Movement and sport".

The Honorary Life President would be a member of the AOC Committee but not have voting power.

Coates has led the AOC since 1990, with his 30-year reign including helping the organisation of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, so the position has in effect been created for him.

The former IOC vice-president has said his current term will be his last, having beat challenger Danni Roche in the the 2017 AOC Presidential election.

The AGM began with an Acknowledgement of Country from basketball player Patty Mills, a three-time Olympian who hopes to compete in Japan.

Mills said he was "very honoured" to be one of 52 indigenous athletes to represent Australian at the Olympics and paid tribute to his parents, who have worked to improve the lives of indigenous people.