July 6th 2005 was a happy day in Singapore, at the 117th session of the IOC-International Olympic Committee. London won the right to host the XXX Olympiad in 2012 beating competition from Moscow, New York City, Madrid and Paris. It would be the first city to host the games after 1908 and 1948.
In Trafalgar Square a huge crowd gathered to watch a live feed on a large screen to celebrate this success. The very next morning, 7/7, domestic Islamic terrorists struck during the morning rush hour. They detonated 3 bombs in quick succession on London Underground trains and then on a double decker bus in Tavistock Square. 52 civilians and 4 bombers died, with over 700 injured. If it had happened 24 hours earlier no doubt the Games would probably been awarded to Paris.
At 12 noon today I was in The Post Office in Leeds city centre they were delivering the new first class 60p stamps with the images of yesterday's Great Britain gold medal winners. I was purchasing previous winners from the weekend. Eighteen special stamps so far, within 24 hours of the competition. In Millenium Square they were showing the Mens Triathalon on the large screen while British Triatholon members had a sign-up information booth and a large water tank and bikes for enthusiasts to try out with.
The Brownlee Brothers-Alistair age 24 and Jonny age 22 from nearby Leeds suburb, Bramhope and students at my alma mater, University of Leeds and Leeds United fans, were swimming 1,500m in The Serpentine and cycling 43 km and running a final 10,000 metres in and around Buckingham Palace and Hyde Park. Well done boys. Alistair took GOLD and Jonathan BRONZE. Yet another new stamp on sale tomorrow but also a gold post box. The iconic red pillar boxes are painted gold in the winner's home town, so we can go and have our photos taken in front of them. www.leedsgold.co.uk
In Atlanta 1996 Team GB only won ONE GOLD and overall a total of 15 medals. The next year the National Lottery decided to help fund athletes and coaching and there was immediate results. At Sydney 2000 Team GB won 11 gold, the first time in more than 10 since Antwerp 1920 after a 6 million pound infusion. Up to 2004 Athens 70 million, 235 million up to Beijing 2008 and 264 leading up to London 2012, 19 GOLD in Beijing and 47 medals of all type. As of today with 5 more days until the Closing Ceremony those totals had been surpassed.
On Tuesday Team GB won GOLD in the Equestrian team event at Greenwich Park with a four man and horses team, in a jump off with the Dutch team after a regulation round tie. It was the first British equestrian success since 1952 in Helsinki. Also in the saddle at The Velodrome, 6,000 fans cheered one more gold for Great Britain, JASON KENNY in the sprint. Dave Brailsford is the performance director for British Cycling, whose HQ is at the Velodrome next door to Manchester City's Etihad Stadium.
He is also responsible for BSkyB Tour de France road racing team, and Britain's first ever success a month ago with Bradley Wiggins. While writing this blog THREE MORE GOLD FOR TEAM GB. Two track cycle medals for Sir Chris Hoy-his SIXTH, and another for Laura Trott. Also Equestrian team dressage for the very first time. More postage stamps and gold post boxes tomorrow.