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  • Blair Tribute for Olympics Bid Team


    London 2012 backers Tony and Cherie Blair. 
    (ATR) British Prime Minister Tony Blair has paid tribute to the "people in the engine room" of London's 2012 Olympics bid with a reception Monday evening at 10 Downing Street.

    Nearly 200 people turned out for the soiree where Blair praised the teamwork and leadership of the London bid.

    Bid chair Sebastian Coe thanked the Prime Minister for sticking with the bid from its start in London two and a half years ago to the finish in Singapore in July.

    Blair paid tribute to Tessa Jowell, the secretary of state for culture, media and sport, whom Blair says was responsible for leading the way to winning cabinet support, Minister for sport Richard Caborn was also on hand for the party, as was London Mayor Ken Livingstone.

    Barbara Cassani, first chair of the London bid was in the crowd, along with Craig Reedie, former chair of the British Olympic Association and Cherie Blair, who served as an ambassador for the bid.

    Athletes attending included Steve Redgrave, Matthew Pinsent and Bobby Charlton, all active in promoting the bid.

    Several sponsors sent representatives to the reception, including Virgin, BT and EDF.

    For men, at least, the striped tie of the bid, was the uniform of the evening, right down to the Prime Minister.

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