Nick Bitel: It was passion that put us ahead of Paris

The Government must now fulfil its promise to appoint a cabinet minister for the Olympics
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It is a truly exciting prospect, but we have got to make sure we deliver on the task we have been given. The Government must now follow through on its commitment to appoint a Minister for the Olympics, and I believe that to be effective that post must have Cabinet status.

We have also got to increase our funding if we want to see Britain represented more widely across the 28 Olympic and 19 Paralympic sports. At present, UK Sport is committed to giving £95m to elite sport over the next five years. We need to invest more.

One of the biggest positives of this bid is that we have started to work together. Sport in Britain can be pretty fractured - there are so many different groups and governing bodies. But here we have a project that has brought everyone together, and we need to make sure that continues to be the case.

Paris had a good bid, but you have to look at the factors which raised London that 10 per cent above them, and three of them are immediately obvious to me. The first, definitely, was the presence of Seb Coe as the chairman of the bid.

Earlier this year, I dined with an International Olympic Committee member in China, and he was telling me all about the regeneration prospects of the London bid. A year earlier, I had found the process of talking about British aspirations for the Games a lot harder going, but on this occasion, I didn't even have to say anything. They already knew.

And I thought to myself, someone is certainly getting their message across loud and clear.

A year ago, the perception among IOC members was that it was nice to see London getting back into the bidding process. But since Seb Coe took charge, things changed around. When he came on board, we weren't focused on lobbying. That's what he's turned around so brilliantly.

The second factor was the passion which Britain has for its sport.

I think events like the London Marathon have played their part in yesterday's success. Lamine Diack, an IOC member and the president of the International Association of Athletics Federations, was one of the starters for our 2004 race, and he seemed hugely struck by both the organisation of the event and the sight of 600,000 passionate British supporters out on the streets on what was not a particularly beautiful day.

The same point was made very strongly in Athens, when IOC members saw so many British supporters in the Olympic stadiums.

The third factor, and I have no party political axe to grind here, was the presence and support of Tony Blair. I have spoken to a number of people out in Singapore, and they all tell me he did a very good job. When you look at it, the difference was four votes. Now you can't say exactly who those votes belonged to, but when you consider that the Prime Minister saw 30 IOC members on a one-to-one basis in the three days he was there, that seems pretty significant. When you are in such a close race for the line, that final dip does make a difference.

How must Paris feel now - three times favourites, three times losers? I can't think of anything they did wrong, anything that you would call a gaffe. But I think they were surprisingly dispassionate, and maybe that was the thing that was missing. They always felt they were ahead, and seemed to think that what they had to do was not to make any errors. But what you need to win the Games is passion, and Coe has been passionate about sport all his life.

One of the biggest criticisms that has faced previous Games hosts concerns their failure to utilise expensive facilities once the circus has moved on.

There has been careful planning within British sport to ensure that we do not fall foul of this "White Elephant" syndrome.

The main Olympic stadium and the indoor arena will be converted for community use, and the London Marathon will put in £3m over a 10-year period following the Games in order to maintain the facilities.

The Montreal Olympics of 1976 cost Canadian taxpayers a lot of money. But eight years later, the Los Angeles Games made a profit.

London is likely to be somewhere in between these two extremes - but the benefits will be immeasurable.

The writer is the chief executive of the Flora London Marathon and chairman of UK Sport's major events group