• The Perfect Pitch

– London's winning bid for the 2012 Olympic Games


The Finish Line

At 7:48 P.M. local time on July 6, 2005, the president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Dr. Jacques Rogge, stood at a podium in the Singapore Convention Center with a large, white envelope in his hand. Behind him, also standing according to tradition, were his fellow IOC members. On the floor of the hall, eyes fixed upon the envelope that seemed to be taking him forever to open, were the heads of the National Olympic Committees from around the world and the International Federations that represent each Olympic sport, winter and summer alike. This was the 117th Session of the IOC, and Jacques Rogge was about to announce the decision on which city had been chosen to host the 2012 Summer Olympics.

Also on the floor of the convention center were delegations from the five cities that had submitted bids to host those Games. Toward the back were those who, earlier in the day, had presented on behalf of Moscow, New York, and Madrid. Now depleted in number and understandably subdued, they had learned through three rounds of voting that their bids had been rejected. Moscow had recorded the lowest number of first round votes. In the second round, New York had come last. In the third, it was Madrid's turn. As each city was eliminated, another vote was taken among the members of ...

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