Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Stunned doesn't cover it

I never thought we'd do it.

Honestly - no matter how good the London 2012 campaign was, I thought Paris had it sewn up. Even up to the second that Jacque Rogge announced that the host city would be.... I was waiting for the word 'Paris.'

But I'm delighted - even if it isn't coming to Birmingham. This will have a massive effect on all sports in the UK, quite apart from the business that it will generate. I know that a number of observers say that the Olympics actually have a neutral effect on the economy, given the massive costs of staging it against the benefits to the host's economy, but I do know that thousands of people will be employed to build the venues and stadia and to run the events. It will help to regenerate a run-down area of London and there will be knock-on effects throughout the country. All those teams will need training camps and events are planned to be held outside the city itself.

Top marks to the team and to Seb Coe, who has won the biggest race of his life. Now on to July 2012 - there'll be problems and negative stories galore, but I reckon we can do it, just so long as we stay focussed on the needs of sport and don't get too hung up on image - which is what doomed the Dome.

One of the highlights was the stunned reaction of the Parisian crowd, all certain that their city was a shoe-in for the Games. What would you give to have been a fly on the wall at Gleneagles to watch Chirac choke when he congratulated Blair on winning the Olympics?

1 comment:

Scribbles said...

Yes, I'd have given quite a lot to see that moment.

And perhaps if that didn't make Chirac choke, maybe he choked later on our bad Cuisine?