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London beats Paris to 2012 Games

The 2012 Olympic Games will be held in London, the International Olympic Committee has announced.

London won a two-way fight with Paris by 54 votes to 50 at the IOC meeting in Singapore, after bids from Moscow, New York and Madrid were eliminated.

Prime Minister Tony Blair called the win "a momentous day" for Britain.

Paris had been favourites throughout the campaign but London's hopes were raised after an impressive presentation by Lord Coe, the bid chairman.

IOC president Jacques Rogge made the dramatic announcement at 1249 BST.

It will be the first time the Olympics has been held in Britain since 1948.

Coe said: "This is just the most fantastic opportunity to do everything we ever dreamed of in British sport."

The Queen, in a message to Coe, said: "I send my warmest congratulations to you and every member of the London 2012 team for winning the bid for the UK.

"It's a really outstanding achievement to beat such a highly competitive field."


Round 1: Moscow out

Round 2: New York out; Madrid lead in tight poll

Round 3: Madrid out

Round 4: London 54-50 Paris

Full details: Round by round

After the announcement, it emerged London was ahead in every round of voting except the second round when Madrid polled the most votes.

News of London's victory delighted flag-waving supporters who had gathered in Trafalgar Square and Stratford in the East End of London, where the new Olympic park will be built.

Shares of British construction companies soared, while mortgage lenders predicted house prices in the capital would rocket.

But raindrops began falling on disappointed Parisians outside the Hotel de Ville in the French capital shortly after the result.

Mr Blair had helped London's late momentum with a whistlestop 48-hour visit to Singapore, before flying back for the G8 summit in Scotland.

The best city in the world meets the best sporting event in the world!

From JS

Have your say on Five Live

Breaking off from the meeting of world leaders, he said of London: "Many reckon it is the greatest capital city in the world and the Olympics will help keep it that way."

Rogge had correctly forecast a cliffhanger vote, and offered his congratulations to the winners.

"We knew the two bids were very, very close. Well done, London. It will be a superb Games and will strengthen the Olympics," he said.

An hour after the decision, London's bid leaders were greeted by warm applause as they signed the official contract to stage the Games.

This is how the decision was made by the IOC in Singapore on Wednesday:

* All five bidding cities gave final 45-minute presentations to the IOC members before the vote began.

* The electronic ballot started at 1126 BST. Moscow, New York and Madrid were eliminated from the race in the first, second and third rounds of voting.

* The final round of voting finished at about 1145 BST, with the committee reconvening at 1230 BST for the official announcement.

* Rogge revealed the winner, after a nerve-wracking wait, at 1249 BST.

Wednesday's decision brings to an end the 18-month race to win the host contract for the 2012 Games.

And it was the most keenly-fought bidding contest in recent years.

Paris was considered the front-runner for much of the campaign, and was highly rated in the initial evaluation and also by the inspectors after their visits earlier in the year.

But it was widely recognised that bid leader Lord Coe, a high-profile personality within the IOC and other governing bodies, hauled London closer to the French capital as the vote approached.

Everyone was all together and we never lost our confidence

Bid leader Lord Coe on London's Olympic victory

Games triumph hailed

Madrid was seen as a consistent but not outstanding candidate, while New York's bid was dogged by problems over their proposed stadium, and Moscow was always seen as the rank outsider.

Once attention moved to Singapore, the bidding cities called on political and sporting heavyweights to champion their causes.

And the spotlight inevitably focused on Paris and London in the days leading up to the vote.

The two cities had President Chirac and Prime Minister Blair respectively in their corners.

Mr Chirac actually took part in the French capital's final presentation on Wednesday, while Mr Blair opted to lobby alongside the London bid team in Singapore before flying back to Britain to host the G8 summit.

London also called on England captain David Beckham and a galaxy of Olympic and Paralympic medallists as ambassadors, while footballers Laurent Blanc and Zinedine Zidane were among those backing the Paris bid.

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In a slightly earlier article preceding the voting:

Beckham keen on GB football team

David Beckham's message to the Olympic voters

David Beckham spoke of his desire to be "part of history" by bringing the Olympics to London on Tuesday.

And the England captain revealed his hopes for a British football team to enter the 2012 Games if London wins.

"It would be great if our country could have a football team in the Olympics. To perform at the Olympics would be special for a lot of players.

"I might come out of retirement - if I'm retired by then!" said Beckham, who will be 37 in 2012.

Beckham, one of a host of sporting stars in Singapore to support London's campaign ahead of the vote at 1230 BST on Wednesday, said he was honoured to be an ambassador for his home town.

"To have an Olympics in our country, where I grew up in London's East End would be inspiring and passionate.

"I have friends there and to know that their children are going to grow up and go to an Olympics just down the road would be incredible for London."

Beckham also joked about the presense of Real Madrid team-mate Raul, in Singapore supporting the Spanish capital's campaign - and it could have been a hat-trick had Paris called up fellow player Zinedine Zidane.

We know we face four very great cities against us but we feel that the Madrid proposal is truly unique

"Raul's a great person, a great player and of course captain of our team so I'm not going to say too much against him as I want to stay in the team!

"I heard he had a little bit of banter about it on Monday. He's supporting his bid of course for Madrid, and Madrid is a beautiful place to play football, a beautiful place to live, but there's only one place that this Olympics should be and that's London."

Beckham revealed he changed plans for the sixth anniversary of his wedding to Victoria in order to fly to the Far East.

"I was asked to get involved in the bid a year ago and was honoured by that and then I got the phone call about being part of the final decision and coming out to Singapore.

"At the time I had things that were planned and I turned around to Victoria and said, 'I've just had this phone call and it's an incredible honour to be asked', so straight away I said 'yes'.

"We had certain things planned with the family but I just thought that this is going to be part of history, so to be part of that will be so special."

London 2012 have had to restrict public appearances by Beckham and other famous ambassadors due to Olympic regulations.

And there was tight security around Monday's photo-shoot at the British Club in the city's Bukit Tinggi district.

Beckham played basketball with former decathlete Daley Thompson, Paralympic basketball player Ade Adepitan and a group of 30 East End schoolchildren picked from London's five host boroughs.

"It's exciting for these kids. One day they are playing basketball, football and volleyball in the East End and the next they are playing it in the heat and humidity of Singapore.

"It gives them a taste of what you can aspire to.

"I'm biased because I've grown up in the East End - but kids in the East End grow up wanting to be sportsmen, they want to be an athlete, they want to be a soccer player."

And Beckham said winning the Olympics woud lead to improved sports facilities for a generation of youngsters.

"England has a great facilities but you always want more and the Olympics can generate more.

"Kids can have great passion and great ability but if you have the facilities for your particular sport that can give you the inspiration to become a sportsman."

Beckham revealed Thompson, his Olympic hero, had made up for snubbing him as a schoolboy autograph hunter, a story Beckham recounted in his autobiography.

"My main Olympic memories are about Daley Thompson. He's a big name and big man. I met him when I was 11 and asked him to sign an autograph but he was in a rush at the time and didn't sign it," he said.

"He came up to me a few weeks ago when we were at the same event and said, 'you don't realise how much stick I have received from not signing that autograph, so there you go', and so, 19 years later he gave me an autograph."

Beckham admitted that being kept out of the limelight had been something of a relief.

"It has been a bit of a blessing, because the reason I'm actually here is to show my passion and inspiration for sport. I'm here as a sportsman, I'm not here as a celebrity person, I'm here to back the bid, so it has been nice."

As for his message to the IOC members, Beckham said: "Make the right decision, support our bid and they will be proven right when it goes down as the best Olympics in history, held in the east end in London.

"That's what we know can happen. To give it to London will be the right decision for everybody."

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quote:Originally posted by canso

Does that mean the hosts will field a United Britain soccer team?

Yes, that was part of a "guarantee" for the bid. The FA's from England, Wales and Northern Ireland have agreed, the Scottish FA is still equivocating in terms of their participation because they are worried about losing national distinctiveness. However, there will be a united UK team of some sort. It happened in London 1908, Stockholm 1912, and London 1948.

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It will be interesting to see how financing is put together, and whether reaction in the cold light of day is more muted, but for now a lot of people are on the bandwagon, even "Red Ken" Livingstone....

More reaction to London 2012 win

A round-up of sporting reaction to London's successful 2012 Olympic bid.

Seb's presentation was so much better than that of Paris. He and his team have done an outstanding job. London will put on a brilliant Games. And yes, if I'm not crocked, I hope to be running there.

World marathon record-holder Paula Radcliffe on London bid leader Lord Coe

London 2012 will be a brilliant sporting event and something for us all to be very proud of.

England and Lions fly-half Jonny Wilkinson

This will be a huge opportunity for London to show they can host such an important event. It will be great to have the Games on home ground because my family, friends and all the Olympic fans can enjoy the Games here and it will really add to an already special event.

Double Olympic sailing gold medallist Ben Ainslie

The dreams have become a reality. Winning in front of your home crowd is a dream come true and winning in Sydney in 2000 was beyond my wildest imagination.

Sydney gold medallist Cathy Freeman

Happiness is a moment like this. I thought we had the best bid and that everything was in place but you still wonder. When the last name came out it blew my mind. I have never had a moment like it.

England 1966 World Cup winner Sir Bobby Charlton

I believe that sport in this country will benefit enormously with London hosting the Olympics. It's a great honour and something we can take great pride in as a country.

England cricket captain Michael Vaughan

It's just the most fantastic thing that has ever happened for British sport. Now we have to maintain the momentum not only up to 2012, but also afterwards and transform sport way beyond the Games. Seb's presentation was inspirational and the hard work of his ambassadors in the last couple of days has been sensational.

UK Athletics chief executive David Moorcroft

This will be a great boost for the whole of the country. I'm looking forward to being at the 100m final in 2012.

Manchester United and England defender Rio Ferdinand

The fact that the Olympic Games are coming to London will have positive repercussions right across these islands, and I would like to assure my UK colleagues of any support or assistance that we can provide here in Ireland.

Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern

I welcome the election by the IOC of an EU capital, London, as the host city for the 2012 Olympic Games. It will be up to London to prepare this most extraordinary meeting with the youth of the world and I wish London good luck.

European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso

It's every athlete's dream to compete at an Olympic Games but to have the chance to do it in your home country is just unbelievable. Personally, I remember the fantastic atmosphere at the Commonwealth Games in Manchester and I'm delighted the British fans will get the chance to be such a major part of the best sporting event in the world.

Olympic gold medallist Mark Lewis-Francis

I couldn't believe it. I was optimisitic but it did seem as if we were the underdogs. To come from behind was stunning and Seb Coe's presentation was superb. Completely illogically I've taken a moment to entertain the possibility of making a comeback. I'll be 42 but will need a new hip and a bionic surgeon.

Former Olympian Steve Backley

The work on constructing the Olympic pool in Stratford will start immediately and good progress has already been made on the design which is absolutely stunning and world class. It is a great day for London and a great day for sport. This is destined to become a catalyst for sport and swimming to move forward in Great Britain.

British Swimming chief executive David Sparkes

The legacy of hosting this event is so significant it will transform not only athletics but British sport on the whole. The effect will not just last until the Games but will be felt beyond 2012 for many years to come.

UK Athletics chief executive Dave Moorcroft

I'm sure we'll win more medals. Imagine if I'd had that support in Athens - I might have won a gold medal! Hopefully we'll get more qualifiers and more boxers and finish higher up in the table. I think we'll make one of the best Olympics ever.

Olympic silver medallist Amir Khan

We will now look with urgency at how the home nations could take part in the football tournaments.

The Football Association's executive director David Davies

Having the Olympic tennis tournament at the most famous tennis club in Wimbledon will undoubtedly inspire an entire generation of new tennis players. In addition the new tennis centre in the Lea Valley for the Paralympics tennis event will provide a whole new area of London with access to affordable tennis.

Lawn Tennis Association chief executive John Crowther

I am a happy man because football in England is very popular, is played at the highest level possible and they have all the stadia. It is a competition where the team must be called Great Britain but how they configure it is their problem.

Fifa president Sepp Blatter

After watching London's incredible presentation this morning, I was in no doubt that London would pull it off. We at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff and Wales are thrilled that we will play a part in the staging of the Olympics and I am sure everyone in Wales will echo that.

Millennium Stadium chief executive Paul Sergeant

The Olympic spirit is alive in the UK and this is a stunning triumph for us. We can now show off the best of British to the world.

Former England rugby captain Lawrence Dallaglio

British sport owes the London bid team a huge debt of gratitude and it is now down to everyone involved in sport in the UK to get behind London and ensure that the 2012 Games are the greatest of all time.

Welsh Rugby Union chief executive David Moffett

This decision will prove to be the launch pad for not only a successful staging of the Games, but also a significant enhancement of British culture and sport.

Rugby Football League executive chairman Richard Lewis

The hosting of the 2012 Olympics will have spectacular and long-lasting benefits for the entire country. I can assure the organisers of the London Olympics that Belfast will give them whatever support they need to make these Games the most successful in the history of the event

Belfast Lord Mayor Wallace Browne

Being so close to London, our superb National Badminton Centre in Milton Keynes will be a key facility in the preparation of our British squad - and most likely many of the other international squads in the weeks before the 2012 Games.

Badminton England chief executive Clive Ricks

London 2012 will be a huge boost for sport in the UK and will leave a lasting legacy for this country. We believe youngsters will be captivated by the spirit and will be inspired to become participants in the entire spectrum of Olympic sports, including our own.

British Judo Association chairman Densign White

This will be a tremendous boost for our sport, not only in the UK, but also worldwide. It will also present us with tremendous challenges as we seek to field a team capable of competing with the top 11 nations in one of the world's great sports.

Great Britain Basketball chairman Sandy Sutherland

As the newest recognised sport, darts, under the guidance of the British Darts Organisation, pledges its wholehearted support for the Olympic Games in London and would be proud to be considered as the host nation's 'invitation sport' in 2012.

British Darts Organisation chief Olly Croft

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N.B. Also: Whilst Londoners will no doubt get hit in the pocket over taxes, I've no doubt real estate values in the South of England will rocket upwards and I know several South Londoners who will probably rent out their apartments and spend the 2 weeks in Majorca on the proceeds!

Another reason why people in the UK are celebrating is that few things get the Brits going more than football, any kind of national sporting victory AND triumphing over the French. When these come together as one then look out.......

Steve Redgrave on key figure Tony Blair

Sir Steve Redgrave hailed London's 2012 Olympics victory as a tactical triumph for Prime Minister Tony Blair over French President Jacques Chirac.

Blair arrived in Singapore on Sunday to lobby International Olympic Committee members, while Chirac flew in to support Paris on the eve of the vote.

"To be able to take three days to come out here has made the difference.

"Chirac didn't have the chance to speak to members and was only here for the presentation," Redgrave told BBC Sport.

"The presentations were important, but it's that meeting and greeting and showing that full support right the way through. Hats off to the Prime Minister.

"Seb Coe has done an amazing job, but if you have to pin it down on one person it's Tony Blair coming out here and doing that.

"If you're the Prime Minister of a country, then you are going to get an audience with a number of people."

Paris had been considered the favourite to win hosting rights for 2012 from the start of the bidding process right up until just hours before the vote.

Blair, bid leader Lord Coe and right-hand man Keith Miller talk tactics

But London led the voting in three of the four rounds, with Madrid coming out on top in round two before dropping out in the next.

Blair decided to lobby IOC members despite having to fly straight back to the UK host the G8 summit of world leaders.

He was not able to take part in London's presentation before the vote, but he continued to meet members until the very last minute and addressed them in French in a recorded message on the day.

Chirac's strategy was to fly in late and focus on the presentation, where he addressed the members as "dear friends" and said he stood before them with a "great deal of emotion and passion".

The rivalry between London and Paris had been growing in intensity since Blair and Chirac clashed over European issues recently, and Chirac's arrival in Singapore came in the wake of a French newspaper story saying he had insulted British food.

Blair addressed the celebrating crowds in Trafalgar Square via a link-up from Scotland after the vote, and he telephoned bid leader Coe to congratulate him.

Redgrave, who with five rowing gold medals is Britain's most successful Olympian, led the athletes' group which helped draw up London's bid.

He was close to tears as he took in the magnitude of London's triumph.

And he said London's bid team had been irritated by claims from abroad that their campaign lacked support at the highest level.

"One of the things that annoyed me about the whole thing is that it had always come out abroad that the government wasn't behind our bid," he told this website.

"As soon as they came on board 18 months ago, they have been behind it 100%.

"There has been no doubt about it right the way through. Every message they have been giving has been so positive.

"But other countries were saying 'we've got much more government support than you have'. It just wasn't true.

"In some ways, them being negative about our public support has actually probably won us the Games."

But Redgrave said his heart went out to members of the Paris bid delegation as he did not believe a European city would get another chance to host the Games for some time.

"I spoke to a lot of the French guys in there, including two of the rowers. I'm welling up as I talk about it because I feel bitterly sorry for them," he said.

"In some ways it's a shame they haven't got it, but you know why I'm pleased they haven't."

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Sour Grapes....London tactics upset Paris mayor

Mayor of Paris Bertrand Delanoe has questioned the tactics of the successful London bid after losing out in the fight to host the 2012 Olympics.

Delanoe congratulated London but said: "I am not quite sure that we took part with the same tools and spirit.

"On Tuesday, as I was going back to my hotel room to go to bed, I saw people coming out from successive meetings with Tony Blair and Sebastian Coe.

"I had not understood that that was the way we should have proceeded."

He added: "I thought that we just needed to provide the best possible bid with the best possible Olympic spirit. And I think this is what most of the IOC members thought about Paris."

But Delanoe vowed that the city would recover from the "immense disappointment" of losing out to London.

"All that has been beautiful, great, strong, collectively generous during our candidacy must not be lost," he said.

"I will use all my energy so that we bounce back, so that we can achieve something great and positive from this."

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Guest Jeffery S.

I personally think that the Olympics is lost ona big city like Paris, London or New York. It can go on and you can be in the town and not even know it is happening. The relative impact is low, and that affects general enthusiasm. Which is why it is more appropriate for a smaller city like Sydney, Barcelona - or Toronto.

The voting was very close.

Moscow was eliminated in the first round, and New York in the second with a good number of votes, 15. But in that 2nd round Madrid actually won with 32 and London and Paris had 29 and 27 respectively.

Then Madrid failed to pick up any NYC votes and actually fell back one as someone changed their mind (quite odd), getting knocked out with 31 as Paris jumped to 33 and London to 39: most of the pro-US votes went to the British.

The final vote was basically a sharing of the Madrid votes quite evenly, ending 54-50. With those kind of close votes it is hard to argue anything else than a bit of luck. Still, very tough for Paris to lose out once again, the third time in 20 years.

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Found an interesting article from Sports focus that addresses financial losses/gains at Olympics..


Olympic Games Profits Since 1984

1984: Los Angeles Olympic Games made profits of US $250 million.

1988: Seoul Olympic Games made profits of US $300 million, a record high for a government-run Olympiad.

1992: Barcelona Olympic Games made profits of US $5 million.

1996: Atlanta Olympic Games made profits of US $10 million.

2000: Sydney Olympic Games Organizing Committee generated an income of US $1.756 billion.

2004: Athens Olympic Games ended in a loss.

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I agree that the Olympiads in Barcelona and Sydney were memorable, especially when they involve cultural icons in the city e.g. triathlon near Sydney opera house. However, London will have events at Regents Park, tennis at Wimbledon, soccer at the new Wembley, archery at Lords cricket ground as well as the dedicated area at Stratford in East London. The detailed plans look exciting on the BBC Sport web page and I think it will also be a memorable Olympiad. I suspect commercialisation will loom large however as a means of financing the event.

More from China.org.cn...

Beijing Olympiad: Profit or Loss?

Almost everyone thinks that hosting the Olympic Games is profitable, but this is not always the case. In 1984, there was reluctance to rent offices to the Los Angeles Olympic Games organizing committee for fear it could not afford the rent. This was based on the debt incurred in the 1976 Montreal Olympic Games of US $1 billion that took Montreal 20 years to recover, and resulted in the withdrawal of several applicant cities. The specter of economic loss is, therefore, an obstacle to the Olympic Movement.

This situation changed with the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, when Peter Ueberroth, president of the Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee (LAOOC), created the "privately run" mode. It enabled him to make a profit of US $250 million without a cent from the government, thus making the Olympic Games a profitable undertaking.

The Los Angeles Olympic Games brought hope to other host applicant countries, but the Athens Olympic Games ended in loss after the host country spent 10 billion euros. This understandably makes the next Olympic Games host feel a little uneasy.

Athens: Model or Lesson?

During the Athens Olympic Games not one advertising billboard could be seen in the city. The greeting slogan chosen by the Athens Olympic Organizing Committee (ATHOC) was "Welcome Home," indicating that it advocated a cultural rather than commercial approach.

After more than a century, the Olympic Games came back to its birthplace -- Athens. Commerce inevitably raised its ugly head, and the Greeks did their best to reach a balance between Olympic tradition and commercial benefits. In order to downplay the commercial aspect, ATHOC decided that the government should play the role of host.

There have been precedents for such an approach in Olympic history, for instance, in the 1988 government-run Seoul Olympic Games, which generated a record breaking US $300 million. Perhaps it was the organizing committee's intention to depart as far as possible from commerce, despite rising costs, that caused the Athens Olympic Games to end in such drastic economic loss.

ATHOC tried to restrict the commercial element of the games by keeping the number of sponsors to a record low. According to tradition, sponsors are permitted to erect billboards in the competing venues, but during the Athens Olympic Games, all that were visible were the Olympic emblem and slogans. Sponsors were not even allowed to advertise outside the competing venues, and before the opening of the Athens Olympic Games, ATHOC ordered the dismantling of more than 10,000 billboards in the city. As far as staging a "heritage"-type non-commercialized Olympic Games, ATHOC's method was sound, but according to Professor Fang Fuqian, chief Beijing 2008 Olympic Games scientist, "Hosting an Olympiad in the original Olympic spirit is politically significant, but from an economic point of view, non-commercialization is disastrous."

Says Du Wei, vice-president of the Beijing Olympic Economy Research Institute, "Different countries and cities have different concepts. ‘Non-commercialization and purity' was the Athens 2004 concept. But history is far removed from reality. Nowadays, the Olympic Movement, in addition to advocating the spirits of sports and peace, inevitably enters the commercial arena. The Olympic Movement should not reject commerce, but seek a point of compromise within the scope permitted by the International Olympic Committee."

Its indifference to profit notwithstanding, ATHOC found ways of economizing. One example is the transformation of an old airport into a fencing and basketball venue. ATHOC also extended time limits on venue construction in order to retain adequate funds for maintenance. It also encouraged residents of Athens to rent out rooms in their houses to alleviate the shortage of hotel beds and gave them the chance to generate extra income.

Beijing: Who Stands to Profit?

On September 1, 2003 Jacques Rogge, chairman of the International Olympic Committee, and Liu Qi, chairman of the Organizing Committee of the Beijing Olympic Games, jointly opened a gold lock with a bronze key in the shape of ancient coin, symbolizing the opening of the door of Beijing 2008 Olympic Games to enterprises in various countries.

Those with an entrepreneurial bent are always on the look out for opportunities to profit. Upon Beijing's winning the bid to host the Olympic Games, canny enterprises began to move, and to date certain real estate projects have raised their prices by 10 percent through publicizing the Olympic concept.

Upon the conclusion of the Athens Olympic Games, a Yangzhou toy manufacturer, who produced 2 million mascots for the Athens Olympic Games, immediately realigned its sights on the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. This factory is now making preparations to produce mascots such as the monkey king, Chinese dragon, and phoenix, with a view to getting the contract to manufacture Beijing Olympic mascots.

The entire point of an enterprise is to make profits. When asked whether the Beijing Olympic Games should be profitable, Kong Li, a student at the Shaanxi Normal University, answers immediately, "Of course, there can be no doubt on that score. As long as it is within the bounds of the law, a healthy profit is an indicator of the success of an Olympic Games meet."

There are plenty of people with money-making schemes for the Beijing Olympic Games. One young man says he wants to demonstrate how to make Chinese chopsticks and then sell them on the spot. He says, "Demonstrating my skills will promote Chinese dietary culture, while selling chopsticks makes money, so I can kill two birds with one stone."

What does the government think? The total investment in the 2008 Olympic Games will reach 1.5 trillion yuan, of which government investment will constitute the principal part. When investing such a huge sum, returns should definitely be borne in mind. Upon winning its bid Beijing raised the slogan "Hold the best, most outstanding Olympic Games." Fortunately, reason tempered passion, and in the course of venue construction, Beijing began to revise its construction programs. Apart from the National Stadium "bird's nest" project, almost all other construction concepts have been reconsidered.

Hosting a "prudent" Olympic Games is a major guideline within venue construction. It is reported that the construction cost of the "bird's nest" has been reduced from 4.2 billion yuan to 2 billion yuan, and that several billion yuan will be saved from the Olympics "reduction plan." The final blueprint will be decided in May of 2005, having incorporated changes in architectural structure, scale and forms.

Main adjustments to the construction plan are: First, while guaranteeing project quality, try to lower construction cost. Second, raise the utilization rate of existing facilities and build temporary rather than permanent venues. Third, postpone the date of completion on some venues, in order to control construction and maintenance costs. The deadline for completion of venue construction has been extended from the end of 2006 to 2007.

Beijing has learnt from Athens' methods of cutting costs, but gives equal priority to making a profit. In 1999, Beijing's goal for income from the 2008 Olympic Games was set at US $1.625 billion. Hein Verbruggen, chairman of the Coordination Commission for the 2008 summer Olympic Games of the International Olympic Committee, remarked that, bearing in mind the enthusiasm of sponsors, this is a somewhat conservative projection. He believes that actual income will far exceed this figure.

Jacques Rogge, chairman of the International Olympic Committee, said in February 2004 that successful Olympic Games host countries gain handsome commissions from television relays. In 2008, China will earn US $240 million this way, up US $30 million over that generated at the Athens Olympic Games.

Of all the trades related to the Olympic Games, the service industry is the most important. Specialists predict that the 2008 Olympic Games will create commercial opportunities worth 3 trillion yuan, half of which apply to the service trade. There is still a gap between Beijing's present situation and the required Olympic Games standard. Training personnel, therefore, is an important task for Beijing. The Games will, in addition, attract more foreign investors who will develop new service trades.

This transition from hosting the "best" and "most outstanding" Olympic Games to a "prudent" Olympic Games demonstrates a change in approach, and the down-to-earth attitude of the Chinese people. Liu Qi, chairman of the Organizing Committee of the Beijing Olympic Games, says, "Hosting a prudent Olympics does not mean lowering our standards," and "Adhering to the principle of prudence while constructing fine-quality Olympic venues is not a contradiction in terms." In short, the Chinese people intend to maximize on their grand investment.

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Quite a surprise that London beat Paris if you think about it...

I heard over the weekend that the decision would be a political one (but isn't it always?;)) in that the Thirld World voters would vote as a bloc against London as a protest of the UK's involvement in the Iraq war. Furthermore, London and Paris were also battling to become the first city to host the Games for a record three times, and since Paris was the birthplace of the Modern Games and the official IOC language is French, Paris would be a lock to win.

Then again, the favourites are generally never selected, are they?

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Latest on GB Football Team from BBC:

The Football Association of England is hopeful that a Great Britain men's and women's football team will be able to take part at the 2012 London Olympics.

Britain do not currently enter a team, fearing it would damage the independent status of the English, Welsh, Scottish and Northern Ireland unions.

But FA executive director David Davies hopes a solution can be found.

"We will now look with urgency at how the home nations could take part in the football tournaments," said Davies.

London defeated favourites Paris, as well as Madrid, New York and Moscow at the International Olympic Committee vote in Singapore on Wednesday.

And Davies added: "Everyone at Soho Square would like to congratulate Lord Coe and all the other people, sporting and political involved.

"It just goes to show that this country can achieve when all the parts support each other."

But the Scottish Football Association has reiterated its opposition to a GB football team.

A spokeswoman said: "Our footballing identity is Scottish. We have discussed the idea of a British Olympic team in the past and turned it down. There was no interest."

Fifa president Sepp Blatter has expressed his delight at London's win.

"I am a happy man because football in England is very popular, is played at the highest level possible and they have all the stadia," said Blatter.

"It is a competition where the team must be called Great Britain, but how they configure it is their problem."

The finals of the football tournaments will be staged at the new Wembley, which is due to be completed in 2006.

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quote:Originally posted by Ashton Gate

Found an interesting article from Sports focus that addresses financial losses/gains at Olympics..


Olympic Games Profits Since 1984

1984: Los Angeles Olympic Games made profits of US $250 million.

1988: Seoul Olympic Games made profits of US $300 million, a record high for a government-run Olympiad.

1992: Barcelona Olympic Games made profits of US $5 million.

1996: Atlanta Olympic Games made profits of US $10 million.

2000: Sydney Olympic Games Organizing Committee generated an income of US $1.756 billion.

2004: Athens Olympic Games ended in a loss.

These "profits" (like the so-called profits of the Calgary Winter Olympics in 1988..the first of Klein's many great lies)) are not in fact profits. They are the figures that represent the surplus or debit of the operating committee per se, not the public cost as a whole. They do not include the public costs of the various levels of governments who do not get a penny back in income from television or

advertising. [xx(]

Some of the income generated is plowed back into programs like CODA (which have been scandalously mispent as a whole) or for maitenance of faclities, but as well as the factual public debt that these Games all leave, there are ongoing costs that the public are saddled with. Apparently, the citizens of Sydney have to pay $75 million a year in taxes to maintain the facilities left behind from 2000.

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Good point on the profits issue, I'm sure it will be hotly debated in the run up to the games. The 100 legitimate businesses in the path of the Stratford development in East London are threatening to sue if compensation is not adequate. No word yet on what the many more shady East End enterprises intend to do......Meanwhile, over to Wales:

BBC Sport.uk.

Cardiff to host Olympic football

London's successful bid to host the 2012 Olympic Games will see eight football matches staged at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.

The venue's chief executive, Paul Sergeant, said: "We are thrilled to play a part in staging the Olympics.

"I am sure everyone in Wales will echo that. We backed the bid and now we will back its total success."

There is also the possibility that Welsh training facilities will be used by cyclists and swimmers.

Newport has the National Velodrome, while the National Pool in Swansea is a brand-new aquatic complex.

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All these profit AND loss numbers are pure BS. It's Enron accounting.

quote:Originally posted by beachesl

These "profits" (like the so-called profits of the Calgary Winter Olympics in 1988..the first of Klein's many great lies)) are not in fact profits. They are the figures that represent the surplus or debit of the operating committee per se, not the public cost as a whole. They do not include the public costs of the various levels of governments who do not get a penny back in income from television or advertising. [xx(]

Actually, that is a profit. If the various governments decide to use the Olympics to spend billions of dollars on public works programs, that has nothing to do with the Olympics. However, the whole point of the Olympics is to redevelop a city, not the three weeks of getting drunk.

Governments get money back as 98% of the money that is spent stays in the country (jobs, etc.) so they collect a lot back in all the taxes we pay plus all the jobs that are created. Plus all the visitors who spend money so the govts collect taxes. Plus the advertising for a city which is impossible to buy. Plus a ton of other benefits.

All I know is that Athens has been transformed from night to day in the last 10 years, and that is 100% because of the Olympics. New airport, new trains/subways/light-rail-transit, road improvements, investments in protecting historical monuments (Parthenon), etc. all because of the Olympics.

Toronto could benefit as well, the waterfront, Downsview, subway improvements and more will only unfortunately be done if the Olympics come to Toronto. Yeah, they could be done if the federal government gave Toronto $10-billion of it's own money back. But I would love to see how well that would play in the rest of the country.

As for Vancouver, I hope it costs them a fortune for the White...er, I mean...Winter Games. Cause 2012 would have been in Toronto.

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Chirac's jokes at the expense of the English aside, London has last laugh.

By Andrew Fraser

BBC Sport in Singapore

"Have you heard the one about London's Olympic bid...?"

Four years ago, the idea of London hosting the 2012 Olympics was a joke.

Not my view, of course, but that of Ken Livingstone - although the Mayor of London obviously phrased it a little more diplomatically than that.

The expressions on the faces of the British journalists after London's triumph in Singapore said it all.

Even when the whispers in the hours before the vote started telling us London could beat Paris, it scarcely seemed possible.

After all, this was the city that launched its campaign against the backdrop of a failed football World Cup bid, trouble with the new Wembley and the Pickett's Lock debacle.

A nation whose government only decided to launch a bid at the last minute, and whose population had initially been lukewarm at best to the idea of holding the greatest sporting show on earth in its own backyard.

And a bid which was up against the mighty Paris, seemingly nailed on for 2012 as everyone assumed its persistence in bidding for the third time in 20 years would finally be rewarded.

When businesswoman Barbara Cassani was put in charge in June 2003, International Olympic Committee members wondered why an American was leading a London bid.

She was playing catch-up from the start on all fronts, and we turned up to cover the campaign believing our association with London 2012 would be a strictly short-term arrangement.

That seemed to be confirmed when London was ranked a distant third behind Paris and Madrid 14 months ago, with its transport network branded "obsolete" by the IOC.

That evening at the London Eye, Lord Coe raised a glass of champagne as he vowed to "give his liver" for the cause, and the next day he was in charge.

Coe gave a stunning performance, it was statesmanlike

BBC correspondent John Rawling

Analysis: Coe's finest hour

Coe picked up the pace for the "final lap", frequently drawing a parallel with his own glittering running career which turned out to be eerily prescient.

We have heard the double Olympic champion's mantra that respect for the athlete is part of his "emotional DNA" countless times in the past week, but his personal touch has helped win over cynics on several fronts.

Even in the final days, it was hard not to wonder whether some unforseen banana skin might emerge to trip up the bid just as it moved on to the shoulder of the favourite.

And it was impossible to suppress a rush of patriotic pride when IOC chief Jacques Rogge announced that London would stage the 30th Olympiad.

If the Prime Minister can break with protocol for a bit of fist pumping once in a while, then surely we should be allowed a little expression of national pride too.

As a jubilant Sir Steve Redgrave said after the vote, it was even more satisfying than beating Germany at football - in a penalty shoot-out.

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Coe's greatest race

By Mark Orlovac


1956: Born, 29 September

1979: Broke three world records in 41 days

1980: 1500m Olympic gold, 800m silver

1984: 1500m Olympic gold, 800m silver

1991: Awarded OBE

1992-1997: Tory MP for Falmouth and Camborne

1997: Private Secretary to Tory leader William Hague

July 2004: Appointed London's 2012 bid leader

Lord Coe has won his greatest ever race by bringing the 2012 Olympics to London.

He may have won two Olympic gold medals and smashed 12 world records, but Coe's achievement in leading London to a stunning victory eclipses them all.

"This is almost entirely on a different planet to winning the gold medals," Coe admitted.

His jubilation is understandable as it is his leadership which has been pivotal in helping London claim sport's biggest prize.

For so long the London bid was regarded as way off the pace and when the five candidate cities were originally shortlisted, London was rated third behind Paris and Madrid.

And Paris was universally regarded as such strong favourites that the contest was seen as effectively over.

But with the exquisite timing that he showed so often in an illustrious career, Coe helped London produce the late charge which saw them pip their French rivals.

He joined London's team as one of three vice-chairmen two years ago but by May last year he was in charge - taking over from American businesswoman Barbara Cassani.

His CV was perfect for the job, not only did he have the medals and the profile but his contacts and detailed knowledge of sporting politics gave him massive influence with those who would decide London's fate.

Coe had been a member of various sporting committees like Sport England as well as winning a place on ruling council of athletics' governing body, the IAAF.

And with quiet determination and steely resolve, Coe began to turn the fortunes of London's bid around.

"I felt our natural instinct was to make our strategy based around sport and getting more young people involved in sport both domestically and internationally," he said.

"I decided that this was what really spoke about us most loudly as a nation and it is far easier to follow a campaign that you believe in."

Coe got Britain's sporting stars to give their support to the bid

With a unity of purpose and an inspiring vision, London started to make inroads.

Emphasis was made on the legacy of the Games for London and Britain as well as trying to address concerns over the capital's transport system.

The use of stars such as Sir Steve Redgrave, David Beckham and Matthew Pinsent gave the bid an air of authority that was hard to ignore.

With sporting figures, politicians and the public lending support, the IOC's evaluation commission gave a glowing report after their visit to London in February and the race was well and truly on.

Coe travelled tirelessly and by the time the world's focus turned to Singapore for the crucial vote on Wednesday, the London bid had incredible momentum.

But Coe saved his finest masterstroke for the closing moments of the campaign when he delivered a very personal speech to IOC delegates during London's final presentation in Singapore.

"When I was 12 years old I was marched into a large school hall with my classmates and we watched grainy pictures from the 1968 Mexico Olympic Games," he told the delegates.

"Two athletes from our home town were competing. John Sherwood won a bronze medal in the 400m hurdles. His wife Sheila just narrowly missed gold in the long jump.

"By the time I was back in my classroom, I knew what I wanted to do - and what I wanted to be. Thirty-five years on, I stand before you with those memories still fresh. Still inspired by this great movement."

His speech, in the final moments of an incredibly close battle, turned the race in London's favour.

BBC Radio Five Live's athletics correspondent John Rawling said: "His final speech was fantastic. It was statesmanlike. It was just a stunning performance - he touched every bullet point of the London bid.

If we win I'll carry the flame home, if we lose I'll carry the can

Lord Coe

"And the way in which he went back and touched on his own career and told what it meant when he watched the Olympics in 1968 was brilliant."

Coe left such an indelible mark on the London bid that IOC president Jacques Rogge paid tribute to him following the vote announcement.

"Most of the London winners have had a long journey in the Olympic movement," he said.

"I met Seb for the first time on the steps of the Olympic restaurant in Moscow in 1980 when he had won gold.

"Someone introduced us and we could not have believed at that time, that we would be signing the host country contract."

And his former middle-distance rival Steve Cram summed up what Coe has done for the Olympic bid.

He said: "Seb has done a fantastic job and made every single effort to make sure we couldn't turn round and say we hadn't done this or that.

"If there is one guy you want to be in there fighting for you, it's Seb."

Before the result was announced Coe had said that: "If we win I'll carry the flame home, if we lose I'll carry the can."

So many times in his athletics career he was on the shoulders of his rivals on the final bend before producing his trademark kick for home to claim victory.

And he did just that in Singapore to claim Olympic glory for Britain once again.

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The business side of the games is now starting to get some attention:

The Olympics and the need to make money

By Stephen Evans

BBC North America business correspondent

Whichever city raises the Olympic flag will also hope to make a profit

London has won the race to host the 2012 Olympics - but the biggest challenge is yet to come.

The most important competition in the Olympic Games is not the 100m sprint or the marathon.

Rather it's the need for the games to make a profit, and this competition follows just two rules.

* Firstly, it's impossible to calculate the benefits of securing the games for your city.

* Secondly, it's impossible to calculate the costs of staging the games in your city.

On the spending side, officials have to sell the idea of the games to taxpayers, so there's a tendency to under-estimate, at least for public consumption.


The Mayor of Montreal said when the city was preparing for the 1976 games that the Olympics "can no more have a deficit than a man can have a baby".

Three decades later, it's a statement that still provokes sardonic laughter among Canadians where smokers continue to pay taxes on their cigarettes to finance the games.

The LA Olympics were a huge financial success

Or try telling the Athenians what a money-spinner the games are.

Seven years before they secured the games, the provisional cost was put at $1.3bn (£741m). When detailed planning was then done, the cost had jumped to $5.3bn.

And when the Olympic torch had been and gone, the cost had risen to an estimated $14bn, enough to bump up Greece's budget deficit.

The Los Angeles experience

The most conspicuous financial success was the Los Angeles games in 1984, which ran at a profit.

It was perfect for the American television networks, which accordingly stumped up a lot of money.

Corporate sponsors too were falling over themselves to pay big money for their name in track lights.

And the size of the city meant that relatively little new building of hotels or venues was needed and many local people could attend events without straining the city resources.


But that was a different era.

Since then, television companies have shown signs of balking at escalating charges for rights.

There's been a backlash against commercialism and the prominence of advertising and name placement.

Costs have also risen in the past four years because of politics.

Security in Athens cost about $1.5bn, pretty much what previous games cost in their entirety.

Cool Barcelona, hip Sydney

But if costs have a tendency to rise as surely as a pole-vaulter, do the games bring benefits to compensate?

The Olympics helped Sydney to step onto the world stage

Some do and some don't.

The city of Barcelona, for example, was regenerated by them.

The authorities used the games there in 1992 as a reason to spend and rebuild the water-front, turning the city into one of the most attractive tourist destinations on the planet (though, the down-side is a ghost-town of new sporting venues on the other side of the city).

The difficulty is that it's very hard to impute any precise financial figure for benefits to a city.

Take the case of Sydney.

How do you put a figure on the rebranding of a city and a country?

No exact calculation can be made of the worth of the Olympics (and before that the opera house) in terms of its image.

It now seems like a "world city".

Where once it might have a had a remote back-woods image, now it seems modern and open and vibrant.

Whatever the tangible on-the-line costs of the games, there's clearly been an intangible but real financial benefit that might be felt for many years in terms of businesses and people visiting the place - and staying there.

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Olympic baseball and softball have been axed starting in 2012, and could be replaced by rugby, squash, golf, karate or roller skating (yikes!). See the BBC article.

This is really disappointing, because I found baseball to be one of the best sports to watch in Athens (it doesn't hurt that we're competitive). And I'm not interested in any of the possible replacement sports (well, maybe golf, if Mike Weir or some other Canadian were to be in contention, but if it's Tiger Woods then forget it). I shudder at the possibility of roller skating -- actually, I'm not even sure I know what they mean by that? would it be like figure skating (double yikes!!)?

quote:Originally posted by Richard

The Vancouver 2010 chairman has already told us the actual costs for building facilities has risen 40% over their initial estimates. Blames inflation and current construction boom. Inflation? Does inflation take these people by surprise?

They probably figure it's better to make the whole thing look as cheap as possible until they win and are committed to it, then let the truth out. I never trust their "estimates" for projects like this (including a Toronto soccer stadium).

I always used to want the Olympics here in Toronto, but now I'm with beachesl.

quote:Originally posted by beachesl

Calgary Winter Olympics in 1988

Coincidentally, just as I read your post I happened to be listening to "The Hour Has Come", the symphonic/choral piece by Srul Irving Glick that was performed at the opening of those Olympics.
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I am a rugby fan but it has the same problem perhaps even moreso than the sports dropped that not enough countries play it at a high level. I think golf is a game as much as it is a sport, look at how fat some of those players are. If we are going to include golf than snooker should also be included. Squash or karate would probably be good additions.

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