London to host 2012 Olympics

10/01/2019 Posted by admin

The final vote by the IOC members was 54-50 in favour of London.

It was an amazing victory for London’s bid leader and two-time Olympic champion Sebastian Coe who was brought in last year to replace American Babara Cassani who quit as leader of the city’s 2012 team.

London’s bid was trailing badly behind the French and looked doomed.

But Lord Coe, along with businessman Keith Mills and London mayor Ken Livingstone, turned everything around and the tens of thousands of kilometres flying the world to seal the bid paid off in spectacular style.

“We won’t let you down,” vowed Lord Coe. “We want to transform the face of British sport but we will never forget our international obligations to make sure that young people everywhere have greater opportunity than they currently do to take part in sport.

“In the early days it was hard pounding but we stuck to what we all believed in,” added Lord Coe.

Mr Livingstone promised an Olympics to remember.

“This is amazing because when we started out we thought this was a mountain to climb, that we would never actually win. Now we are going to give the world the best Games they have ever seen,” said Mr Livingstone.

It was also a massive personal victory for British Prime Minister Tony Blair who flew into Singapore three days before the IOC members voted to hold a series of private one-on-one meetings with the members to sell the bid.

Mr Blair said he punched the air and did a jig on hearing of London’s stunning upset victory.

“It’s not often in this job that you punch the air and do a little jig and embrace the person next to you,” Mr Blair said. “It’s a fantastic thing and I’m thrilled.”

Moscow, New York and Madrid were all eliminated in three rounds of voting by the nearly 100 IOC members present, leaving London and Paris as the two survivors and one of them sure of victory.

When IOC chief Jacques Rogge opened the envelope and read out the winner’s name the London team jumped to their feet.

Across the aisle the French team sat in stunned disbelief.

It was the third time in 20 years that the French capital had been rejected by the IOC.

“It will be a while before we become a candidate again, whether it be the summer games or the winter games,” said Henri Serandour, president of the French National Olympic Committee.

“There is a problem. For the third time… it is a bit hard to swallow. We have to find the explanation, and it will not be easy.”

The defeat was a bitter blow for French President Jacques Chirac, who has been personally involved in all three Paris bids – once as mayor of Paris and twice as president.

Seventy-two-year-old Mr Chirac had flown into Singapore on Tuesday afternoon so he could address the IOC Session during Paris’ final presentation.

The French team was hoping the presence of Mr Chirac would clinch victory for a bid that has been the front-runner since the campaign began.

But in the end the IOC decided that London, who last held the Games in 1948, should have 2012.

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