On July 6, 2005, at the 117th International Olympic Committee Session in Singapore, London made its final presentation for its bid to host the 2012 Summer Games. Mayor Ken Livingstone, who used to be the firebrand known as “Red Ken,” had previously shown little or no interest in sport in the capital. But he was now older and cuddlier, his sharp edges smoothed by the responsibilities of mayoral office. As he made his bid, he dubbed London 2012 “The Regeneration Games,” his enthusiastic support informed by his belief that they would deliver for East London much needed economic renewal.

When the presentations ended and London erupted in celebration after besting favorite Paris in the final round of balloting, the promise of how London and the country would benefit from the Olympics hardly seemed to merit a murmur of a challenge. But in fact substantial question marks can be placed against the promises made.

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