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London Defeats Paris for Right to Host 2012 Olympic Games -- July 6, 2005

SINGAPORE, July 6. IN a surprising development, London was named the host of the 2012 Olympic Games after an International Olympic Committee vote was revealed Wednesday morning. London won the Games on the fourth ballot, defeating Paris by a vote of 54-50. Paris was considered the heavy favorite to win the bid when delegations from the five bid cities arrived in Singapore to make final presentations.

When the games are held in seven years, it will mark the third time that London has served as host, joining 1908 and 1948. Thanks to the presence of Prime Minister Tony Blair, London picked up considerable steam in the closing stages of lobbying, consequently denying Paris, New York, Moscow and Madrid from potentially hosting the Games. Paris’ failure to win the bid was its third in 20 years, as the French capital also sought the 1992 and 2008 Olympics.

Throughout the four rounds of voting, Paris never led. Moscow was eliminated in the first round, followed by New York in the second stage and Madrid in the third stage. Madrid had the lead after the second round, but London picked up a hefty portion of New York’s votes once the Big Apple was eliminated from contention.