'It's not just about the East End or London. It's going to transform the whole country'

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Hopefully it will inspire a lot of kids who will be desperate to compete at an Olympics in their own country. I got silver in Athens but maybe I would have got gold if I'd been roared on by the home fans. I'm sure there will be a lot of medals for Britain. London can host one of the best Olympics in history.

Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson, winner of 11 Paralympic gold medals

I don't think I have ever cried as much. And there were grown men, who I never thought I'd see crying, who were sobbing their hearts out. I said we had to be magnanimous whichever way the result went - and I think we might not have managed that - but we don't really care about that anymore.

Gary Lineker, former England football captain and TV presenter

I'm absolutely thrilled; it is great news. I jumped for joy when I heard. Congratulations to Seb Coe and his team. It is great for sport in this country and a real boost for London in particular.

I always thought we had a real chance because London is a great city and this is a country with a great heritage in sport and passion for it. A lot of people were downbeat about our chances because we are used to not succeeding. And if the final vote had been us against the Germans, it probably would have gone to penalties - and we all know what would have happened then!

Dame Kelly Holmes, double gold medal-winner It's absolutely incredible because I know how passionate it is to be involved in an Olympic Games.

So it's really emotional, I can't believe it. It's so nerve-wracking to know that the whole country is behind it - it's a really big thing. It was the worst moment actually to hear it: I don't know what I did!"

It was absolutely amazing - the feeling of it because the Olympic spirit is so passionate and I think the country is going to do wonders for everybody especially the youth of today.

It's going to change our country round so much.

Kofi Annan, UN secretary general

I have no doubt that this will be a magnificent international sporting event - good for the world, good for the UK. Obviously others are disappointed as this was a hotly contested decision, but the intensity and drama surrounding the choice is a good omen for friendly competition on and off the sports field.

David Beckham, England football captain

It's not just about the East End, it's not just about London, it's going to transform the whole country. To have the Olympics in London, that's something special. The feeling out there was incredible. I've won the European Cup, FA cups and premier leagues - that's up there with them; it's an amazing feeling.

Melvyn Bragg, writer and broadcaster

I am delighted. I feel a great volcanic surge of patriotism that we nicked it at the last minute from the French. It was a tremendously well-organised campaign and the idea of taking 30 children from the East End over was PR genius. The idea of leaving a lasting footprint and changing the city is hugely exciting. Now we have to deliver on this.

Fay Weldon, novelist

I wish it filled me with joy but it doesn't. I just wonder how we are going to afford it. I find myself wondering if it wouldn't have been better if it had gone elsewhere. But then you feel rather mean because it is nice to have these grandiose occasions. I am concerned that it will use up the water supply and so on. I'm just not particularly won over I'm afraid.

Sol Campbell, Arsenal and England defender

I'm from Stratford: not the next town or borough, Stratford itself, which is at the heart of the new site and this bid means a lot to me. I would love to be involved and as a well-known sportsman from the place where the Olympics would take place, I'm an obvious candidate. It's a perfect opportunity to achieve an amazing event for the country.

JG Ballard, author

I enjoy watching sports but what bothers me is the inflation of rather dull little competitions into huge trials of moral strength. It's a sort of Henman-itis on a total scale. Running the 100 metres or rowing a boat are fun to watch but they are not the greatest test of mankind since D-Day. If I'm still here, I shall emigrate.

Sir Nicholas Serota, director of the Tate

It's hugely exciting and gives us a chance to show that culture and sport are part of everyone's lives in Britain. We have to make sure there's a legacy that transforms east London and south London. But it's also important that the Olympic Games doesn't cannibalise all the money that is required for culture in this country between now and 2012.

James Cracknell, rowing gold medal in Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004

I feel as though I have just done a race rather than watch an announcement. There was the same feeling as if I was standing on the start line in hearing that news. Sadly I'm too old [to compete]. I would love to have competed as a British athlete in the London Olympics - I wish my parents had held off for a bit.

Kathy Lette, author

Hopefully news of this sporting victory will inspire Londoners to get up off their couches. Most of my English friends are not exactly sporty. The only thing they run up are bills. If, however, there were an Olympic category for oratory, or a Wimbledon for wit, then you would all win gold!

Marlon Devonish, gold medallist in the 4x100 relay at Athens in 2004

It is amazing. When London was read out I just jumped around. I have won gold at an Olympics and this is similar to how I felt then. Every 14- and 15-year-old will be dreaming of being at the Games in their own country and performing in front of their own fans. The city will have to sort out its transport.

Tessa Sanderson, gold medal in the javelin at the 1984 Los Angeles games

I'm so proud of the people in the East End. From day one, before everyone else got on board, they backed it. I think that the buzz word will now be sport. It is going to be "cool" to take part in sport, knowing that in the future the Olympics are going to be coming here.

Ben Ainslie, double Olympic sailing gold medallist

This will be a huge opportunity for London to show it can host such an important event. It will be great to have the Games on home ground because my family, friends and all the Olympic fans can enjoy the Games here and it will really add to an already special event.

Sven Goran Eriksson, England football coach

It is fantastic. London is my city now. I live there and work there and I am very, very happy. Of course, Britain having the Olympic Games at home, they will have to have a football team. They must resolve that one one way or another. Having the Olympic Games and not to have a football team, that would be crazy.

Sir Henry Cooper, Boxing legend

This is great news for the country and London in particular. I remember the last time we had the Olympics in this country back in 1948 and it gave everybody a boost. I'm sure it will do the same in 2012. I am sure it will help amateur boxing and the success of Amir Khan will give youngsters the impetus to go one better in 2012.