Wednesday, July 06, 2005

London in 2012

London has been awarded the Summer Olympic games in 2012. I am a bit surprised, as I expected Paris to be the successful city.

Selection of host Olympic is one of the more distasteful, political contests in the world. After five finalist cities are selected, a prolonged period of wining and dining, plus lots of begging and bribing, takes place.

This morning there were four rounds of voting, with the low vote getter eliminated after each round. After Moscow and New York were quickly eliminated in the first two rounds, with Madrid the leading city after the second round. New York was never seriously considered, as they had difficulty gaining approval for a new stadium and the Bush campaign refused to pull campaign ads that used unauthorized images of the Iraqi soccer team.

Paris and London supporters were able to convert supporters of Moscow and New York to their view, and Madrid was eliminated in a surprise third round vote. Then London edged Paris 54-50 in the final vote. I can not imagine the number of IOU's issued and called during the last two rounds of voting.

What I keep wondering is how London, a city so steeped in preservation of its history, will integrate all the Olympic venues into its landscape without them looking out of place.


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