Thursday, July 07, 2005

London wins the 2012 Olympic race!

Since we arrived in London last September, we were always dubious as to whether or not this city really wanted to hold an Olympic Games - having been down to Sydney in 2000, we knew ourselves how exciting such an event makes a city, but London just didn't seem to be getting in to it..

All that changed this week as the countdown to the announcement by the IOC approached..



The announcement was at 12:46pm today, broadcast live on TV from the IOC meeting in Singapore.. and the media had been following all the developments of the voting process and how the decision is made for the previous few days. Finally, the city seemed to be getting into it!!

The London bid team vying for the right to hold the games was lead by Lord Sebatian Coe, England's greatest male middle-distance runner, and flanked by a large contingent of famous British Olympians and sports people. They presented an inspirational final presentation to the IOC delegates in a last ditch effort to sway the voting members.. Whereas other Cities such as Paris and New York simply played a flashy video, London chose to present their case by talking about the opportunities it would create for parts of the city, and how the games would inspire children in the UK to get involved in sport and be inspired by the Olympic dream.

and... it worked!!.. dead on a quarter to one, Jacques Rogge, IOC President, announced that the final vote between London and Paris, had been won by "the city of.. London"!!!

Trafalgar Square was filled with a large lunchtime crowd fixed to big TV screens showing the announcement, and when the result came through, shock gave way to jubilation as the city celebrated what will be happenning in 7 years time out in the soon to be regenerated East London and Lower Lea Valley areas where the Olympic Park will be developed.












The works programme for London to get things ready to host the games

While Carly was at home watching it there, I watched it all on a plasma TV in the lobby at work where the response from colleagues was the same as in Trafalgar Square. It wasn't that Londoners didn't believe they could win, it was more a case of them not beleiving that they had beaten the apparently unbeatable bid from Paris..

Yet another win for the Brits over the Frenchies.. All I need to do now is get myself a job in Regeneration & Development Planning in London to take advantage of all the forthcoming spin-off development.

-shane

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