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Last Updated: Thursday, 7 July, 2005, 04:46 GMT 05:46 UK
Papers reflect on Olympic gold
Britain's "golden day", says the Independent in a special edition celebrating London winning its bid to host the 2012 Olympics.

"This is a time to take pride in the fact that our capital city has received such a powerful endorsement from the rest of the world," the paper adds.

"Getting the Olympics gives a thrilling boost to our too often fragile national morale," says The Guardian.

"The 2012 Olympics may also be seen to symbolise the new and changed Britain."

London's success was the result of an "extraordinary team effort," says the Daily Mirror.

Coe praised

"Tony Blair was at his persuasive best while mayor Ken Livingstone justified the creation of his office. And David Beckham proved once against what a fantastic asset he is to his country."

"Lord Coe's achievement was not merely to mount an impressive bid, nor to present it with a supporting galaxy of sports stars," writes the Daily Telegraph.

"Much as David Beckham deserves our thanks for his hard work signing autographs in Singapore, it was Lord Coe and his colleagues' tireless and effective lobbying behind the scenes that has brought the Games to London."

France's loss

A number of newspapers revelled in the defeat of Paris which had been tipped to win the bid.

"A great day - made doubly pleasurable by the thought of Jacques Chirac eating that tasty British dish, humble pie," says the Daily Mail.

"Coming from behind to beat the French makes winning even sweeter," the Express writes.

"If you didn't feel proud to be British yesterday, you're probably French," The Sun wades in.

Expensive project

The Financial Times points out that National Lottery money and London council tax-payers will largely fund the Games.

"This finance package could reduce the amount available from the lottery for grassroots sport and other good causes," it warns.

"Homes will have to be demolished and also businesses moved," The Times cautions.

But "all can and should, find cause to rejoice in an enterprise that will be costly and also truly monumental," it concludes.

French reaction

In France, the Liberation newspaper said it was logical that London won.

"On the French side, the Games were seen too much as a useful screen to mask the national breakdown. It is hard to be centre-stage when you are doubting your role to that extent," it said.

Meanwhile, Le Monde includes a cartoon showing a very happy, giant-sized Tony Blair, dancing on a podium, and a dejected, tiny Jacques Chirac, scowling after his country's defeat.

"Tony Blair made an effort not to rub too much salt into the French wound," comments Le Figaro, adding that "in the face of the United States, Tony Blair is counting on French support on two important issues: global warming and aid for Africa."


Clickable guide to London's plans for 2012 Clickable venues guide
Interactive guide to London's plans

London's big day

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