What Happens When Olympic Bids Fail? Sustainable Development and Paris 2012

  • Graeme Hayes
Part of the Global Culture and Sport book series (GCS)


On 6 July 2005, the International Olympic Committee (IOC), meeting at the Raffles Hotel in Singapore, announced which of the five shortlisted cities would host the 30th Olympic and 14th Paralympic Summer Games in 2012. Moscow, New York and Madrid had already been eliminated in the first three rounds of voting, leaving the final choice between Paris and London. The Paris delegation — led by Bertrand Delanoë, the city’s Socialist mayor; Jean-Paul Huchon, the Socialist president of the Ile de France region; and Arnaud Lagardère, chief executive of the Lagardère media and aeronautics group, and chief representative of the Club des Entreprises Paris 2012 business consortium — appeared confident, if nervous. Previous recent bids by Paris to host the Games for the first time since 1924 had floundered: in 1986, the city had lost out to Barcelona for the 1992 Games, and in 2001 had come a dispiriting third behind Beijing and Toronto for the 2008 Games. This time, however, would be different; Paris was, by consensus, the favourite to get the nomination. Whilst London emphasized its Games in physical, emotional and economic terms (stressing the role of the Olympics in creating urban regeneration, and sporting and cultural legacies), Paris had run a campaign based on the supposed intersection of French and Olympic values: romance, solidarity, popular engagement, ethics, ecology. Much more compact than its chief rival, the Paris bid had enjoyed comprehensive domestic support, with France’s entire political, economic and media class firmly behind it; where he had been ‘unavailable’ to present the previous Paris bid in 2001, this time French president Jacques Chirac had flown to Singapore, on his way to the G8 summit in Gleneagles, to work the room and share centre stage with Delanoë and Olympic legend Jean-Claude Killy.


Green Space Social Housing City Council Housing Association International Olympic Committee 
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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2012

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  • Graeme Hayes

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