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President Chirac says his countrymen are "very, very disappointed".39 "We don't understand," adds a member of the Paris bid team, Olympic judo champion David Douillet. We respected the rules."40 The choice of London as host city is thought to have been influenced by an inspirational final presentation by the British delegation, whose figureheads include Tony Blair, David Beckham and Lord Coe.41 The delegation also includes 30 ordinary young Londoners, one of whom, 14-year-old Amber Charles, presents the final bid document.42 The announcement that London will host the Games is greeted by wild celebrations in Trafalgar Square, where 30,000 people gather.43 The following day, 52 people are killed by four suicide bombs on London's transport system.44 Speaking from Singapore, where he has been supporting the Olympic bid, the then mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, tells those responsible: "In the days that follow, look at our airports, look at our seaports and look at our railway stations and even after your cowardly attacks you will see that people from the rest of Britain, people from around the world will arrive in London to become Londoners and fulfil their dreams and achieve their potential...45 Nothing you do, however many of us you kill, will stop that life."46 Mr Livingstone also promises free tickets to the Games for survivors of the attacks.47 Jonathan Edwards, the Olympic triple jump champion, adds: "Terrorists are not going to hold our country or the capital to ransom.

We are committed to putting on a fantastic Games."THE PREPARATION48 The Government presents the London Olympics Bill to Parliament on 14 July 2005.49 A two-minute silence for victims of the 7/7 bombings is held across Europe on the same day.50 The Bill, which becomes law in 2006, makes provisions for the creation of an Olympic Delivery Authority, as well as laying down draconian rules for the restriction of non-approved advertising and marketing within an extensive Olympic "zone".51 Tessa Jowell is appointed Minister for the Olympics in July 2005.52 Five London boroughs are designated Host Boroughs: Newham, Hackney, Waltham Forest, Tower Hamlets and Greenwich.53 Locog holds its first meeting on 3 October 2005.54 Work begins on the Olympic Park in December 2006.55 A disused sports hall on the 500-acre site of Eton Manor is knocked down.56 Part of the running track used in the 1948 Olympics is buried under the site.57 Around 2,000 newts have to be relocated from the site before construction canbegin.58 The Olympic Park includes 45 hectares of wildlife habitat, with meadows planted with wildflowers from Norfolk.59 There are also 525 bird boxes and 150 bat boxes.60 Numerous improvements to the capital's transport infrastructure are set in motion, including the expansion of the East London Line, an upgrade to the Docklands Light Railway, and the introduction of a new "Javelin" high-speed train connecting St Pancras and Ebbsfleet to Stratford.61 In March 2007, the budget for the Games, originally £2.4bn, is revised upwards: to £9.3bn.62 This figure includes £800m for VAT payments.63 London is the only city to host the modern Olympics three times.64 The last time London hosted the Games, in 1948, there were 4,104 athletes (3,714 men and 390 women), from 59 nations, competing in 26 sports.65 The budget then was £600,000.66 London also hosted the Games in 1908, when 2,008 athletes (1,971 men and 37 women), from 22 nations, competed in 22 sports.67 The budget for the 1908 Games was £75,000.68 The London 2012 logo is unveiled on 4 June 2007.69.

The Flame travels an average of 110 miles each day.215. Up to 16,260 athletes and officials are accommodated there.220.

Evening celebrations for the relay are held in 66 towns and cities. Between them, they use 64,000 bed sheets, 22,000 pillows, and 11,000 sofas.221 But there are only 444 kettles - and 5,000 lavatory brushes.222 The average floor space for each athlete is 16 square metres.223 It also has a nail bar, which proves spectacularly popular with the athletes.

This covers the actual running of the Games.8 Of the 10,500 athletes competing in the main Olympics, 4,688 were women and 5,802 were men.9 Great Britain, which was the only team to compete in all 26 sports, contributed 542 athletes: 280 men and 262 women.10 Some four billion people around the world are reported to have seen at least a moment of the Games on television.11 This figure includes 90 per cent of the UK population.12 In addition, several million Britons are assumed to have been among the 8.8m people who were lucky enough to get tickets to see events live.13 Team GB's medal count - 65, of which 29 were gold, 17 silver and 19 bronze - is the biggest British haul since 1908.

To enable them to do so, 26,640 beds have been booked, 12,180 lunches have been eaten, and luggage has been carried from hotel to truck and truck to hotel a total of 31,680 times.205 The torch relay also featured in a 2006 episode of Doctor Who, when the Doctor and Rose went into the future to see the Games.206 For much of its journey, the torch is driven in the back of a van.207 This prompts some amateur runners - more than 2,000 of them - to complete a parallel "real relay", covering the entire distance of the route (plus detours up mountains) on foot in 55 days.208 The official torch also travels by a number of other modes of transport, including punt, speedboat, rowing boat, lifeboat, racehorse, Cob horse, tram, steam train, zip-wire, motorcycle sidecar and London Underground.209 One torchbearer skydives with it; another abseils with it down Grimsby Dock Tower.210.

THE STORY BEGINS28 The tale of London 2012 starts in 1995, when the British Olympic Association decides that the capital will be the next British city to bid to host the Olympics.29 There have been three other such bids from British cities since 1948: by Birmingham (for 1992) and by Manchester (for 19).30 In 1997, 2012 is chosen as target date.31 In 2003, US businesswoman Barbara Cassani is put in charge of the bid.

She is replaced by Lord Coe in 2004.32 The Government gives its formal backing to the bid in May 2003.33 The likely cost of the Games is estimated at the time as £2.375bn.34 Of this, roughly £17m represents the cost of the bid itself.35 Five cities make the short-list declared by the International Olympic Committee in May 2004: London, Madrid, Moscow, New York and Paris.36 Plans for the Olympic Park are revealed in November 200437 In the final round of voting, on 6 July 2005, London wins a two-way contest with Paris by 54 votes to 50.38 The decision to award the Games to London comes as a shock to many observers, especially the French. This is not the way we acted and we would never act that way.

This degree of lighting is crucial to ensure broadcasters can capture the action with sufficient clarity for HD TV freeze-frame coverage - which is being used for the first time.146 Of the Olympic stadium's 80,000 capacity, only 25,000 are permanent seats.147 The combined spectator capacity for all the Olympic venues is 700,000.148 Much of the security for the Games is subcontracted to the world's largest private security firm, G4S (and the world's third-largest private employer).149 However, the security operation is led by the police, who will ultimately assign 10,000 officers to the operation.150 It is also intended that 13,500 members of the Armed Forces will provide support.151 Military hardware available for anti-terrorist purposes includes Eurofighter jets and surface-to-air missiles, with one launcher eventually sited on top of a residential block.152 The total budget for security is £553m.153.

The Royal Mint is set to work producing 4,700 Olympic and Paralympic medals.154 The Olympic medals are designed by David Watkins, whose previous claims to fame include doing the special effects for 2001: A Space Odyssey.155 The gold and silver medals are made mostly of silver (92.5 per cent), topped up with copper and, in the case of the gold ones, six grams of gold.156 The bronze ones are copper topped up with zinc and tin.157 In financial terms, a gold medal is worth nearly twice as much as a silver, and 137 times as much as a bronze.158 On , details of the Torch Relay route are released.159 At the same time, the selection process for torchbearers in the Torch Relay begins.160.

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On 24 August 2008, at the closing ceremony of the Beijing Olympics, the Olympic flag is formally handed over to the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson.88 An eight-minute presentation promoting London 2012, featuring David Beckham, Leona Lewis, Jimmy Page and a red double-decker bus, gets a lukewarm reception.89.