(P118) DCMS press notice - Government backs Olympic bid

Culture Secretary announces support for London bid for 2012 Olympics

The Government will wholeheartedly support the quest to bring the 2012 Olympic Games back to London, Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell told Parliament today.

After a thorough examination of the costs and benefits of bidding for the world's biggest sporting event, the Cabinet has decided that it will back a bid by the British Olympic Association to the International Olympic Committee to host the Games in nine years' time.

Announcing the decision, Tessa Jowell said:

"The Olympics are not just the greatest show on earth.  They will help to revitalise East London.  They will put sport &endash; from the school yard to the medal podium &endash; at the heart of Government thinking.  The Games will inspire and enthuse a generation of young people.

"I want the Olympics to motivate everyone to get active.  We are already investing record amounts of cash in sport.  We must take this chance to encourage people to take advantage of that.

"We are going all out to win.  Silver is nowhere in this race.  The whole Government has backed this bid.  There will be some stiff opposition, but we have a great case and everyone, from the Prime Minister down, will be working hard to make it."

Craig Reedie, chairman of the British Olympic Association said:

"The decision taken today is the most significant for British sport in generations. The aspiration to host the world's greatest sporting event gives our country, our capital city and all our sportsmen a unique opportunity to excel in every area. It is exciting and very encouraging and rewards the British Olympic Association for their many years of effort."

The Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, said:

"This is terrific news, not just for the East End, or even for London  - it's great news for the country as a whole.  The next few years could see the transformation of sport and tourism in this country, not to mention the transformation of the East End of London.

"London has all the physical credentials to host the Games, but its most precious asset is its people.  With over 300 languages spoken in our schools, every competing nation in the 2012 Games will come to London and find a group of supporters here as fervent as the fans at home.  London is the place where the world comes together."



1 A bid to host an Olympic Games has to be made by the National Olympic Committee.  In the case of the London bid, the British Olympic Association, chaired by Craig Reedie, will make the case to the voting members of the International Olympic Committee.  More information on the mechanics of the process can be obtained from their website (see below for link).

2 The text of Tessa Jowell's statement to the House of Commons is reproduced below.

3 London has hosted two Olympic Games &endash; in 1908 and 1948.  On both occasions, London was asked to host.  The city has never previously made a bid for the Olympics.

See the IOC Olympic Website.

 Press Enquiries: 020 7211 6274/ 6145
Out of hours telephone pager no: 07699 751153
Public Enquiries: 020 7211 6200

Top of page; Return to publications index;

15/5/03 Last updated 15/5/03