On September 23 1993, 89 members of the International Olympic Committee met in Monte Carlo to decide which city would host the 2000 Olympics.
The contenders were Sydney, Beijing, Manchester, Berlin and Istanbul. At the end of the penultimate round of voting, Beijing led with 40, Sydney was on 37 and Manchester had 11.After Manchester dropped out, Sydney won the final cut-throat contest with Beijing by just two votes.
As IOC president Juan Antonio Samaranch announced the victory, bestowing an extra syllable on Sydney’s name, it was 4.27 a.m. in the new host city, with more than 50,000 people around Circular Quay watching on giant television screens.
With dawn soon to break, the Opera House was glowing in primary, fluorescent colours … and ferries, yachts and launches were beetling crazily around the Harbour, with horns and hooters blaring, and people dancing on decks. A raucous camaraderie bonded people, across the water and in the streets. The Games were coming.