Tony Blair: Olympic bid win a ‘huge moment of triumph and celebration’Friday, Jul 13, 2012 in Office of Tony Blair, Sports Foundation
With just two weeks to go until the Olympics begin, BBC Sports Editor David Bond sits down with Tony Blair to talk about the bid.
I think the organisers have done a brilliant job, really. I mean it is a massive undertaking and once you win the bid there is that moment of euphoria then followed by the years of preparation, when you know there are always conflicts over the budget and how you get things done; the transport, the logistics. I mean it is a huge undertaking. Putting this on is the biggest sporting event in the world, and I think they’ve done really a fantastic job.
There was lots of nervousness, obviously, at the start, going back to 2002, 2003. You had to be convinced a bit yourself and then you had to go and convince other members of the Cabinet. I mean, now, looking back are you absolutely sure it was the right thing to do?
Oh yes, I mean I think, look today’s world is one of which these big sporting events, like the Olympics or the World Cup, I mean they are watched by billions, they put a country on the map, they allow it to showcase itself in a way that nothing else does, and the reason why there is such hot competition to host these things is because people nowadays know it is a fantastic opportunity. And you know the money, of course you’ve got to make a bit of investment in the games, but you know if you look over all that then repays itself in the people that come, the investment you make, the jobs you create and so on. So, no, I don’t have any doubt that it was the right thing to do. Although, at the time, I must say I was never quite sure we would win the bid.
Yeah of course, and people still give you a lot of credit for actually winning that bid in Singapore. Was it perhaps one of the proudest moments of your premiership?
Yes I mean there are very few moments in the life of a Prime Minister which are moments of sort of unalloyed joy and celebration, very few, and winning the Olympics was one of them. And it was a great feeling. I mean I didn’t think at the beginning we would really win the bid and then when we went to Singapore, I got a sense of hope about it but then I also felt, well maybe you know, I was getting misled by being in the little Olympic cocoon, that you are for the bid process. But when we actually won, it was a huge moment of triumph and celebration.