Wednesday, July 06, 2005
The London team overhauled long-time favourites Paris as well as Madrid, Moscow and New York to win the race to stage the lucrative sports extravaganza.
International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge announced the winner at a globally televised ceremony after a day of presentations and deliberations at the IOC session in Singapore's Raffles City complex.
"It's just the most fantastic opportunity to do everything we ever dreamed of in British sport. This was the most splendid team performance," former Olympic champion and bid leader Seb Coe said on Wednesday.
"Everybody pulled together and we never lost our confidence."
Champagne celebrations were launched across the British capital.
"It is just amazing," Kelly Holmes, double Olympic champion said. "It was so nerve-racking, I just cannot believe it."
Olympic athletes threw their arms in the air in delight and hugged each other in London's Trafalger Square as they watched the announcement in Singapore on a huge screen.
Champagne was sprayed around under Nelson's Column and thousands danced in the streets after the announcement was made.
At the site of the Olympic Park in east London, school children and athletes yelled in delight on hearing the news.
"It is amazing, I can't believe it, I will be the right age to go, I just can't wait," Alex Savin, 11, a junior fencer told Reuters.
London had spent most of the race to host the Games behind front-runner Paris. Former Olympic athlete Sebastian Coe led the campaign with style, gaining the vital support of Prime Minister Tony Blair and the backing of the majority of Londoners.
The bid organisers highlighted the city's multicultural appeal and the passion of its people for sport as their reason to host the Games.
The city had previously staged the Olympic Games in 1908 and 1948.