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I just heard that the 2012 Olympics will be in London.  Surprisingly, many of my friends and acquaintances in Paris really wanted to win this bid, so for them, I am sorry.  I am so irredeemably anti-Olympics, that I have to say that I am glad the Paris, this city I love, will be spared.

Date: 2005-07-06 12:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
The Anglophile in me is jumping for joy, although I do feel sorry for Parisians. I know how much they wanted this. Paris was the heavy favorite. I wonder what finally tilted the balance in London's favor.

Date: 2005-07-06 08:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Probably. I think they just felt like knocking that smug-ass smirk off of Jaques Chirac's face.

Date: 2005-07-06 08:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Apparently, Mr. Blair knows how to work a room in ways that M. Chirac either fails to understand or is reluctant to use. I suspect that Mr. Blair is just as smug as M. Chirac, but is better at disquising his arrogance; after all, "his" UK is on a roll.

Date: 2005-07-06 08:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yeah, that was all over CNN. What a tool.

Date: 2005-07-06 12:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Just heard the news too. I shared your attitude towards the Olympics in Sydney 2000 and was even thinking of heading back to Melbourne to get away from them. At every opportunity I would tell people how horrible it was going to be and that it was just looked upon as one giant shopping spree.
I ended up remaining in Sydney during the Olympics and I have to say that all my premonitions about the event were way off. There were no transport nightmares, shopping wasn't mad and the planned extended retail shopping hours were quickly pulled back after an absence of sales(everyone was either at the events or following them on TV).
The city did have a spending spree but it was on public works - public transport received some badly needed repairs & resources, footpaths were widened, roads repaired, parks given modern makeovers and new meeting places with cafes and promenades appeared. All these improvements took place over a very short period which would normally have taken much longer to achieve(if ever).
The best thing about the Olympics though was the atmosphere of the city during the games. Being the terrible cynic I was I guess I gained even more by being proved wrong. During the Olympics Sydney really became a city for the people. There was a full program of cultural events including concerts and art exhibitions and after work hours people from all over the world spent time enjoying picnics in the inner city parks whilst following the events on a big screen. People even car pooled to keep traffic problems at a minimum. It was just such an unbelievably friendly time and it was wonderful to have so many international travelers all in the one place and all having a great time - without any of the horrors I had imagined or believed would become evident.
After the Olympics the crowds left be we still had better facilities and a residue of a strange kind of confidence that it had been such a success. I was converted and think it will be good for london too.

Date: 2005-07-06 06:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I think one of the reasons I like the Olympics is because it forces that city to make the changes, something they would not do otherwise. Toronto's transit could definetly be improved but isn't and if it takes the Olympics to force such changes, so be it.

Date: 2005-07-07 12:29 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I, too, am relieved that the Olympics are not in Paris, and even more reliveed that they are not in New York!


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Paul Leonard

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