Seven years later, Londoners ready to welcome the world
Seven years ago, on July 6, London was awarded the 2012 Olympic Games. I can tell you exactly where I was when the announcement came through and how I felt: in a boardroom, and unbelievably excited. At the time I wasn’t working in editorial, and working at the Olympics was not even on my radar, but I felt so proud that my city would be hosting the Games. As us Brits do, we celebrated at the pub with a few too many drinks, and 2012 could not come quickly enough. London and the whole UK couldn’t have been happier.
Less than 24 hours later, everything changed.
On July 7th 2005, 52 people died in terrorist attacks on the rail and bus networks in London. From the highs of the day before, four individuals tried to plunge the city into chaos, divide us and dampen our spirits.
Except they failed.
In just a few hours, London will welcome the world. And we’ll do it well, because it’s something we’ve been doing for decades. Few places in the world are as diverse and multi-cultural as London, and it’s one of the reasons we were lucky enough to be awarded the Games. We have 10 million people, speaking hundreds of different languages, coming from all corners of the globe, following every religion you can think of and all with one thing in common: We are Londoners.
So while those Londoners we lost to tragedy won’t be able share in the joy of the 2012 Olympics, I, and 10 million other people, promise to make this year’s Games unforgettable.
Editor’s Note: Gerard McGovern is a Senior Manager, Events for Getty Images, and frequent contributor to the Getty Images blog. Read more of his posts here.