London won the right to host the 2012 Summer Olympic Games after
a vote by IOC members in Singapore on July 6, 2005, beating out
Paris, New York City, Madrid and
London was awarded the 2012 Olympics on Wednesday, narrowly defeating
European rival Paris in the final round of voting to take the games back
to the British capital for the first time since 1948.
After Moscow, New York and Madrid were eliminated in the first three
rounds, London beat its cross-Channel opponent 54-50 on the fourth ballot
of the International Olympic Committee vote - capping the most glamorous
and hotly contested bid race in Olympic history.
"I'm looking forward to what I'm sure will be a fantastic Olympic
Games," said Prince William, speaking from New Zealand.
Paris had been the front-runner throughout the campaign, but London
picked up momentum in the late stages with strong support from Prime
Minister Tony Blair.
Part of London's pitch was that it stepped in to help the Olympic
movement by staging the games as Europe was still recovering from World
The race had been considered too close to call as an unprecedented
collection of world leaders and sports celebrities converged on Singapore to lobby for the
London's victory handed Paris its third stinging Olympic defeat in 20
years, following failed bids for the 1992 and 2008 Olympics. Paris hasn't
hosted the games since 1924.
IOC president Jacques Rogge opened a sealed envelope and declared the
result in a live televised ceremony: "The International Olympic Committee
has the honor of announcing that the Games of the 30th Olympiad in 2012
are awarded to the city of London."
The tan-suited London delegates in the convention hall leaped out of
their seats, arms raised in jubilation and cheering wildly.
voting figures weren't immediately released.
In London, crowds cheered and waved flags as they watched the
announcement from Singapore on a giant screen in Trafalgar Square, and in
the east London area where the main Olympic complex will be based.
The results of the first three rounds came as no surprise. Moscow was
always considered the longshot, with New York and Madrid outsiders. Moscow
went out with 15 votes in the first round, New York dropped out next with
16, then Madrid with 31.
Paris had the perceived advantage of bidding for a third time,
especially since the IOC tends to reward persistence. The French capital
also had a ready-to-go Olympic stadium in the Stade de France and embraced
the IOC's blueprint for controlling the size and cost of the games.
But not even a personal appearance in Singapore by French President
Jacques Chirac could secure victory.
"The heart of Paris and the heart of France are beating in unison in
the hope of becoming Olympic host in 2012," Chirac said during the city's
final presentation to the IOC. "You can put your trust and faith in
France, you can trust the French, you can trust us."
Blair, who spent two days of lobbying in Singapore before leaving to
host the G8 summit in Scotland, spoke in a video message - half of which
was delivered in French, one of the IOC's two official languages.
"My promise to you is we will be your very best partners," Blair said.
"The entire government are united behind this bid.... It is the nation's
London centered its bid on the massive urban renewal of a dilapidated
area of East London. It's the fourth bid from Britain after failed
attempts by Birmingham for the 1992 Olympics and Manchester for 1996 and
London got off to a slow start, but made big strides under Sebastian
Coe, a two-time Olympic 1,500-meter gold medalist who replaced American
businesswoman Barbara Cassani as head of the bid in May 2004.