The highs and lows of a bidding process
More than enough words have been written about football and Fifa and the media and the World Cups of 2018 and 2022, so I'm not going to add much to those. But wearing my London 2012 hat, there were some issues arising this week that play into our story and how we deliver the Olympic Games.
I've written before about the importance of major events to national identity, and one obvious way that the IOC's 2012 decision changed things is that a country that expects to lose international contests suddenly became a winner.
So having gone through the failed Birmingham and Manchester Olympic bids along with the disappointment of the 2006 World Cup - not to mention the belief we never win the Eurovision song contest because people just don't like us - the successful London bid was transformational. Indeed, it was remarkable watching the crowds across England this week that their expectation was victory not the traditional "plucky losers" defeat.
The disappointment in London is evident after Russia's successful bid was revealed. Photo: PA
We now know how exceptional that campaign for 2012 was. Its cleverness was that for a city that had already held the Games twice, it was radical and insurgent. The emphasis on inspiring the youth of the world and on legacy and sustainability proved the difference from a Paris bid that felt more conservative and less exciting. Many of you still hate it, but the logo that followed fits the same narrative: it's not what you'd expect from the UK, and that idea also runs through the equally radical mascots. There is a Britain of heritage and teapots and thatched cottages and red, white and blue - but London 2012 is quite deliberately not in that space. Think pink, and one eye not two.
However, the 2012 success probably also sowed one or two myths about bidding processes. Tony Blair unquestionably outwitted Jacques Chirac in Singapore, but now everyone's wise to those tactics - and for Vladimir Putin not turning up was the new version of how to get attention. Then there's the presentations: they seem to count and genuinely sway votes among the bigger IOC electorate, and London's remains state-of-the-art for subsequent bid teams, but with the much smaller Fifa electorate their effect seems to be marginal or none.
So now we go forward without the full glow of the golden decade of sport that we had hoped for - though we still have major landmarks to come: Rugby World Cups in both codes, the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, the Cricket World Cup in 2019. That really isn't a bad list considering that the world now has many more countries capable of staging major events, and when some potentially fantastic hosts like Spain and the United States have missed out on all recent World Cup and Olympics bids they've made.
But the main reaction here must be a sharpened determination to make London 2012 work and to show the rest of the globe what they might be missing in 2018. We did really well as a country in securing the Olympic Games, and the premium on delivering it successfully has now notched up just that little bit more.