London won the right to hold the 2012 Olympics on this day in 2005, after a remarkably close contest that saw the city beat Paris to the honour by just four votes.
As the video above recalls, Jacques Rogge, president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) congress in Singapore, announced London’s victory at 12.49pm BST – sparking noisy celebrations in Trafalgar Square and near the proposed site of the Olympic Park in Stratford, where thousands had gathered to hear the result.
It meant that Britain would host the Olympics for the first time since ‘the austerity Games’ of 1948. Lord Coe, two-time Olympic champion and Chairman of the London bid, said: “I feel absolutely ecstatic we've got the opportunity to do what I've always dreamed about in British sport.”
London’s bid beat those from Paris and also Moscow, New York and Madrid after four rounds of secret balloting of the 115 members of the IOC. The French capital had long been favourite to win, but it was said that London’s commitment to leaving a legacy after the games tipped the balance in its favour.
Prime Minister Tony Blair, who had made a whistle-stop visit to Singapore before attending the G8 summit in Scotland, said that he could hardly bear to watch the announcement, adding: “It is not often in this job that you get to punch the air and do a little jig".
The result came at the end of an 18-month bidding process, early on in which reports from each of the bidding cities by IOC inspectors had seen London ranked third after Paris and Madrid.
It was later recognised that Lord Coe, who had won 1500m gold medals at the Moscow games in 1980 and Los Angeles in 1984, was instrumental in turning London’s bid around and helping achieve a better report from the inspectors earlier in 2005.
Coe would later receive a message from The Queen, which said: "I send my warmest congratulations to you and every member of the London 2012 team for winning the bid for the UK. It's a really outstanding achievement to beat such a highly competitive field."