2012 And All That - An Olympic Games Bid

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The bid to host the Summer 2012 Olympic Games.During the first week of July in 2005 an event of global significance took place.

Singapore was the center of the global attention. In the Raffles City Centre Convention Centre - the naming of which bore the hallmarks of a British colonial past - the ordinary 117th Session on the IOC (International Olympic Committee) took place. The purpose of the IOC Ordinary Session was to undertake perhaps their most important recurring function. That function was to chose the location to host the XXX modern Olympiad.

In the beginning, there had been nine cities fighting to stage the 2012 Olympic Games. On the 18th May 2004, these were whittled down to five main candidates. Havana, Istanbul, Leipzig and Rio de Janeiro had been unable to influence on technical factors and were purged from the continuing procedure.

5 names were put forward to the ultimate voting procedure. The cities chosen for the eventual judgement were London, Madrid, Moscow, New York and Paris. Of these, Paris carried the influence of being the favourite.

So, the conclusive day in 2005 finally arrived and the IOC convened in Singapore to execute a decision that would carry with it tremendous monetary consequences.

The procedure. was simply. Each of 104 permitted IOC attendees would take part in a series of secret ballots. After each ballot, if no candidate city had received an absolute majority of the votes cast, the city with the fewest votes would abandon their bid and a sequential ballot be held.

After some nervous rounds of voting, the three best challengers emerged from the five short-listed candidates. London, Madrid and Paris. Moscow had fallen at the first ballot and New York was eliminated after the second vote.

Irrespective of the fact that Madrid and London had both polled more votes than Paris in the first two ballots, the French capital was still thought by many as the favourite to achieve the eventual prize. Due to the vagaries of the voting conduct of some IOC delegates, at the penultimate voting stage, Madrid, which had topped the second ballot with 32 votes, was purged polling only 31 votes. This left London facing Paris in the decisive ballot.

The widely held assumption of the press and professional soothsayers was that Paris "had it in the bag".

London's bid had previously been evaluated as having many positive elements in reports drawn up by the IOC in 2004 and 2005. However, the general opinion within the various IOC evaluation committees was that Paris held the advantage over its cross-channel opponent.

Heritage also seemed to be against Britain. Earlier attempts by Birmingham (1992) and twice by Manchester (1996 and 2000) had all been ineffectual and rejected as rather dismal bids. Whereas, Paris had contended for the 1992 Summer Olympics and then again in 2008, when it came third behind odds on favourite Beijing. The general observation in the run up to the 117th IOC Session was that Paris was due a victorious bid.

The final outcome is now history. Festivities by the GB team within the Convention Centre were more than matched by wild cries of joy from a gigantic crowd observing the proceedings live on massive screens put up in Trafalgar Square, Central London. The position of the home crowd was, maybe, prophetic - the Battle of Trafalgar being possibly the most renown of British victories over their long time foe.

So, London became the first city to host the modern Summer Olympic Games thrice, having had the honour in the summer's of 1908 and 1948.

But, what will be the probable cost to London and its taxpayers?

More importantly who will pay for the 2012 London Olympic Games?

Can the United Kingdom capital pull off the fabulous feat of holding a modern Olympics and In reality make a financial gain from it? Or, will a by-product of debt hang around long after the visual sportsmanly glories, that surely await us in the Autumn of 2012?

 Copyright held by Robert James. This article may be freely republished only if this copyright notice remains intact and the article links remain active. You may not publish any extract of this work unless the paragraph with the active links and this copyright notice are included.

Robert James BSc(Hons) is the editor of the independent Madeira travel guide. He has been a Freelance Computer Professional for 25 years and has had numerous articles published in the trade press.

© You may freely republish this article, provided the text, author credit, the active links and this copyright notice remain intact.

You may not publish an extract that does not include an active link.


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