London wins 2012 Olympic bid

London was awarded the 2012 Olympics on Wednesday, defeating European rival Paris in the final round of voting to take the games back to the British capital for the first time since 1948.

After Moscow, New York and Madrid were eliminated in the first three rounds, London beat its cross-Channel opponent on the fourth ballot of the International Olympic Committee vote - capping the most glamorous and hotly contested bid race in Olympic history.

To those who didn't win it was a disappointment. A collective silence, followed by boos, whistles and insults, spread across Madrid's central square Wednesday after the Spanish capital was eliminated from the voting to choose the host of the 2012 Olympics.

A buzzing crowd watched a giant TV screen in London's Trafalgar Square on Wednesday, waiting to learn whether the city had won the right to host the 2012 Olympics.

"It's really tense and quite nerve-wracking actually - I didn't think I would feel like this," British gold-medalist Sally Gunnell said.

London has hosted the Olympics twice - in 1908 and 1948. Britain mounted three recent unsuccessful bids, Birmingham (1992) and Manchester (1996 and 2000), but London was considered the only real potential winner.


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