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Last Updated: Wednesday, 6 July, 2005, 15:57 GMT 16:57 UK
London 2012: Reaction around the UK
As London wins the bid to host the 2012 Olympics, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland give their reaction and look forward to what the Games may bring.


Political leaders in Wales are rubbing their hands at the prospect of the country cashing in on the 2012 London Olympics.

Colin Jackson and London 2012 bid delegates
Delegates in Singapore celebrated with Colin Jackson

Olympic football matches will be played in the Millennium Stadium, but Wales is also being touted as an ideal training base, with facilities like an Olympic standard velodrome and swimming pool.

Welsh steel plants are also being urged to bid for the contract to build the athletics stadium in London.

Welsh Secretary Peter Hain led the country's response to London's win.

He said: "I hope to see Welsh competitors bringing home the best ever haul of medals in 2012."

"This promises a huge financial boost with competitors and visitors from around the world basing themselves in Wales."

A woman celebrates wrapped in the flag
The winning feeling could ripple across the UK

Colin Jackson, in Singapore to back the bid, said the Games had been won with the "assertive and positive attitude" of the team's bid in the last few weeks.

And Lynn "the leap" Davies, who won gold in the long jump at Tokyo in 1964, said the games were about "inspiring young people" and that Wales needs to find more sporting stars like Colin Jackson and Jamie Baulch in the next seven years.

"It is important for us as a small country to produce Olympic heroes and show we can succeed at Olympic level," he said.

However, one economic analyst has expressed doubt about how much Wales stands to gain from the Games.

Calvin Jones, from the Welsh Economic Research Unit, said the effect on Wales would be the equivalent of "a small needle in a large haystack".


NI Sports Minister David Hanson said the bid's success was "wonderful news".

Former pentathlete Mary Peters
Peters hopes athletes will train locally

"It is also a reflection of the enthusiastic support for the bid from around the regions of the UK and Northern Ireland can be justly proud."

Mr Hanson said it would bring benefits to the province, in terms of sport and the economy.

"In the run-up to the event, competing nations will need to acclimatise and prepare for the Games," he said.

"We can offer competitors, coaches, administrators and friends a warm welcome, good training facilities and a unique opportunity to experience our wide and varied culture."

Dame Mary Peters, who won Olympic gold in the pentathlon during the 1972 Munich Games, said she hoped some of the athletes would come to Northern Ireland to train prior to the games beginning.

The excitement here was overwhelming
Eric Saunders

"I come from Belfast and we are going to benefit just as much as the people of England because we are only an hour's flight away," she said.

Eric Saunders of the NI Sports Council said the win was a great source of inspiration for Northern Ireland's young people.

"The excitement here was overwhelming," he said. "The one thing that comes to mind immediately is a multi-sports stadium.

"Hopefully this will give it added impetus, but also we will have training camps because there are well over 100 nations taking part in the Olympic Games.

"They will be looking for training camp facilities here."


First Minister Jack McConnell described the victory as "a great day for British sport".

The Special Olympic Torch in Glasgow
Scottish venues have been earmarked for events

"Public support for the bid in Scotland has always been amongst the highest in the UK," he said.

The National Stadium at Hampden Park in Glasgow is one of the venues earmarked for the Olympic football competitions.

Mr McConnell said: "I would like to congratulate Ken Livingstone, Tony Blair and Lord Coe and his bid team.

"We will now begin plans to capitalise on opportunities for Scotland."

The Scottish National Party and the Scottish Tories also welcomed the IOC's decision to go to London.

David Williams, chief executive of Events Scotland, said he believed the spin-off for Scotland would be huge.

"Many of the teams would want to set up pre-training camps in the years leading up to the games, so there is enormous potential for cities and towns around Scotland.

Glasgow has also struck gold
Steven Purcell

"For business, there will be billions of dollars in contracts for construction, temporary facilities, supplies, equipment, food and clothing.

"With tourism there will be enormous focus on Britain in the lead up to the games and for Scotland it would be the winner because of its great beauty and unique culture."

Glasgow City Council Steven Purcell said: "We have a proven track record as a global destination for sport and culture and I'm sure the people of Glasgow will join me in congratulating London as we now move forward with our own ambitions for 2014."


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