Whew. That's over. As time went on, it was blatantly obvious to almost everyone except the bid committee that New York was not going to get the 2012 Olympics. Whatever chance the city might have had was blown by the West Side Stadium fiasco; that was made clear once again by New York getting knocked out just after Moscow and before Madrid.
There was of course a bit of a surprise in London's winning. Paris had expected to win by a nose, and so there was some drama in their losing. After the decision was made, Donald Trump chalked it up to another old white man's egotistical remarks [from the NYT]: "'How stupid can you be?' Mr. Trump said, referring to Mr. Chirac's joke in which he told President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia and Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder of Germany that the only British contribution to European agriculture had been mad cow disease." The French meanwhile were very bitter, and they probably have some reason to be so, since they were such the clear favorites.
On NPR this morning, one of the correspondents on the scene gave some credit to former middle-distance runner Sebastian Coe, who gave the British campaign some final momentum going into the vote. And immediately, the theme from Chariots of Fire started playing in my head, because I've always associated it with Seb Coe for some reason even though it's not really about him, and it's really just a movie about Brits in the Olympics.
On the positive side, monolingual American Olympics fans can safely travel to London seven years hence and have a minimum of language difficulties while getting around.