London Awarded 2012 Olympic Games

London Awarded 2012 Olympic Games (AP)

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 War II.

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 bids.

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.

While I’d have preferred New York, I’m quite pleased that London got this rather than Paris. Blair needs a shot in the arm after the beating he’s taken for siding with us in the Iraq War. I’m quite surprised; I took Paris’ win as a given.

FILED UNDER: Europe, Sports
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. reliapundit says:

    i’m not surprised you thought paris would win. you are almost always wrong.

  2. Fred says:

    Everyone assumed Paris would win. Paris would have won, if Chirac hadn’t publicly insulted England and Finland right before the vote, which gave London some sympathy votes and pissed off the two Finns on the IOC.

  3. dougrc says:

    “I took Paris’ win as a given.”
    So did the French, which makes the awarding of the Olympics to London such a sweet surprise. Count on a spiteful Chirac raising the toll on the Channel Tunnel to rip off the rest of Europe (especially the Finns) as they drive to the games in 2012. Certainly I feel bad for the Parisians since they were really counting on being awarded the games, but I don’t feel too bad. They are still French, you know.

  4. Paris did win, as London will find out.