To view our videos, you need to
install Adobe Flash 9 or above. Install now.
Then come back here and refresh the page.
Olympic history was made Wednesday morning, but it wasn't the kind New York City backers were hoping for.
In the fourth round of voting, the International Olympic Committee chose London, England, as the host of the 2012 Olympic Games, ending NYC2012's ambitious nine-year effort to bring the Games to New York City for the first time.
At the IOC meeting in Singapore, members of the London delegation leapt to their feet with cheers when the selection was announced, as did throngs who had gathered in the British capital to watch the proceedings.
In Rockefeller Center, hundreds of New York City Olympic supporters let out a collective groan as they watched the announcement at 7:49 a.m. EST on a live Jumbotron. NYC2012 officials had set up the screen Tuesday evening to carry the five candidate cities' final bid presentations.
New York City was eliminated on the second ballot of an unusually competitive contest. Paris had been considered the front-runner heading into Wednesday's voting, ahead of London's unexpected selection.
Prime Minister Tony Blair, who spent two days lobbying in Singapore, called it a momentous day.
"I thought a lot about what I would say, obviously, if it went the other way and I was going to say that the British had always been magnanimous in victory and gracious in defeat and we should be magnanimous," said Blair.
The IOC's decision ended a far-reaching nine-year push to bring the Games to New York, an endeavor that won strong national support yet failed to fully galvanize city residents.
According to a poll conducted by the IOC in early March, 59 percent of New Yorkers supported hosting the Olympics, compared to 85 percent of the residents of Paris and 91 percent of those in Madrid.
After the announcement, bid officials and city residents who had gathered in Rockefeller Center said that the city should be well-positioned should it decide to vie for the next Games in 2016.
In Singapore, Mayor Michael Bloomberg congratulated London on its winning bid and said New York's bid had spurred many city projects even if the city failed to win the Games.
"We've got amazingly close, but unfortunately at the finish line their can only be one winner standing at the top of the platform," he said.
Bloomberg did not rule out the possibility that the city would try for the Olympics again.
Senator Hillary Clinton, who made a surprise visit to Singapore for the vote also praised the city's Olympic efforts and hinted at a possible shot at the Games in the future.
"It didn't work out this time but the fundamentals of why New York is the global city, the Olympic village in spirit every single day, remains the same," said Senator Hillary Clinton.
NYC2012 founder Daniel Doctoroff also offered a nod to the winning city and echoed Bloomberg's statement about how the bid itself had helped the city.
"The Olympic effort has been a catalyst to so many great things happening all across the city," Doctoroff said.
The results of balloting in the first round, released after the winning city was announced, showed New York in fourth place with 19 votes, but still a strong contender against London with 22 votes, Paris with 21 and Madrid with 20. Moscow received just 15 votes and was bounced from contention.
In round two, Madrid led the pack with 32 votes, London was in second with 27 and Paris was in third with 25. New York received just 16 votes and was eliminated.
London pulled ahead in the third round with 39 votes and Paris received 33 as Madrid was bounced out with 31. In the final round, London edged out Paris by a vote of 54-50.
New York's Olympic bid was the brainchild of Deputy Mayor Doctoroff, who was a successful investment banker and real estate developer when he attended a World Cup soccer match in 1994. Inspired by the multicultural experience, he founded NYC2012 in 1996 with the hope of bringing the Games to New York for the first time. Although the Olympics had been held in numerous world capitals, New York City had never before made a serious bid for the Games.
NYC2012's plan for the Games involved building facilities along what planners called the "Olympic X," in which two transportation axes would stretch across the five boroughs. A north-south axis would transport athletes between venues by ferry on the East River, and private trains would run on an east-west track that would connect an Olympic Village in Queens with a new Olympic Stadium on Manhattan's far West Side.
The far-reaching proposal involved adapting or constructing venues for 30 different sports, and included massive plans for handling transportation, security, and communications, at a total estimated cost of $3.2 billion.
In December of 2001 the Olympic effort received a shot in the arm when newly-elected Mayor Bloomberg named Doctoroff his deputy mayor and made the pursuit of the Games a priority of his administration in the aftermath of the 9/11 terror attacks. A year later, the U.S. Olympic Committee selected New York City over San Francisco as the nation's designated bid city for the 2012 Olympics.
But among New Yorkers, public support for the Games was tempered in part by the Bloomberg administration's controversial decision to tie the pursuit of the Olympics to the construction of a West Side stadium that would also serve as the home of the New York Jets football team. When a state panel rejected funding for the West Side stadium project with only weeks to go before the IOC vote, New York officials rushed to come up with a backup plan in which the New York Mets would build a new Olympic-friendly baseball stadium in Queens.
Although backers hoped that the revised plan would demonstrate New York's resourcefulness, it's possible that the eleventh-hour change of plan turned off IOC voters.
In all, NYC2012 spent an estimated $35 million on the bid, all of it raised from corporate and private sources.
With its bid for the 2012 Games, New York was attempting to become only the fourth U.S. city to host the Summer Games. Previous American host cities include St. Louis (1904), Los Angeles (1932 and 1984), and Atlanta (1996). In addition, Squaw Valley (1960), Salt Lake City (2002) and Lake Placid (1932 and 1980) have hosted the Winter Olympics.
London, which hosted the Summer Games in 1908 and 1948, will now become the first city to host an Olympics – either Summer or Winter – three separate times.
|FROM THE ARCHIVES: NYC OLYMPIC BID COVERAGE|
11-13-00 NYC Planning A Bid To Host 2012 Summer Olympics
11-02-02 NYC Gets USOC Nod To Vie For 2012 Olympics
01-16-04 Committee To Bring 2012 Summer Olympics To NYC Makes Its Pitch
05-18-04 New York Named Finalist In 2012 Olympic Bid
06-06-05 State Board Rejects West Side Stadium Funding
06-12-05 New Stadium For Mets Is Centerpiece Of Revised Olympic Bid