Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Olympian Spirit

I'm very pleased that London has won the Olympics. Not that I want Britain to bear the cost, or that I am particularly excited that more taxpayers' money will be thrown at the capital when it could be more usefully directed at, say, some of the deprived areas in the North East. But the fact that Chirac deliberately missed the start of the G8 summit, hoping to be able to turn up late and gloat, and that it has now backfired, fills me with a large amount of glee. Chirac has always placed the anti-English/Anglo-Saxon grandstanding ahead of actually using his power as a force for good, and it is nice to see it come back and bite him.

Any allegations, meanwhile, that the French are bad losers, are totally false:

"It is an immense disappointment that I cannot explain, to tell you the truth," he said. "I have met many members of the IOC who told me `We don't understand it'."
Mr Delanoe added: "It is fair play that made us lose," and said that he was not sure "that we have all participated in this contest with exactly the same tools and in the same spirit.
NBA star Tony Parker, who had been part of the Paris delegation in Singapore, was very downbeat after the result.
"I don't know what else we could have done. If we don't have it now, I guess we will never get it," he said.
"The IOC seems to be very pro-Anglo-Saxon. I feel extremely gutted."
Former Olympic judo gold medalist Thierry Rey, who was also an ambassador for the French bid, was also dismayed by the IOC's decision.

A stunned silence greeted the news of London's victory
"This is an enormous disappointment, we don't understand what is happening, this is a massive slap in the face," he said.
"We did all we could, we don't know what else we could have done. We thought our bid was exceptional."

It's quite simple. There was a vote. Paris lost. Maybe London's bid was just better.