TORONTO – A street party of flag-waving, singing revelers fell silent Friday when Beijing was a landslide winner over Toronto and four other cities for the 2008 Olympics.
Most of the crowd of several thousand people quickly left after the announcement shown live on a giant video screen set up in front of Union Station.
Former Mayor David Crombie quickly grabbed a microphone on a stage set up on Front Street and started a chant of "One more time!" but few were in the mood to join him after Toronto finished second to Beijing. Istanbul, Turkey, Paris and Osaka, Japan, were the other losers.
Before the vote, the Toronto crowd lined up hundreds deep for a free pancake breakfast as musicians entertained from two stages, jugglers performed, and organizers handed out T-shirts proclaiming support for the Toronto bid.
Arches of balloons in the Olympic colors crossed over Front Street, the main downtown avenue, where the crowd grew steadily on a crisp, sun-filled morning along the Lake Ontario waterfront.
The scene reflected a strength of the Toronto bid – cultural diversity – with African drummers pounding a beat to shaking dancers on one end, just after a bluegrass group sang and picked some traditional standards.
Signs protesting the Beijing bid also were present. One showed the Olympic rings serving as handcuffs, with the slogan: "No Olympics for China until Tibet is free."
Anti-Beijing protesters and people waving a Chinese flag briefly scuffled, but police quickly intervened.
Toronto's party ended earlier than planned, but in Paris, a crowd awaiting the decision outside the opulent City Hall building found reason to hoist champagne glasses after the announcement was made.
"We wish Beijing the best of luck," Anne Hildalgo, Paris deputy mayor, said. "We are still going to have a party. Just not as big."
Others sipped their drinks and nibbled crepes and other favorite light French fare.
"Whether you win or lose, you've got to keep your head high," said Francois Nguyen of the French taekwondo association.
"We've lost before, notably for the 1992 Games, when Barcelona won," said Cyril Cartron, a spokesman for the Paris Organizing Committee. "It didn't mean the end of the world."
In Osaka, Japan, reaction was muted.
"It's very unfortunate. We did everything we could, but in the end Osaka's name value wasn't as high as Beijing or Paris," said Fumio Sakaue, a spokesman for the Osaka Olympic Bid Committee. "We want to pay our respects to Beijing for their great effort and look forward to them putting on a wonderful Olympics."
Osaka was virtually eliminated from contention in June, when the IOC said there were doubts about the city's traffic infrastructure.
Still, the city refused to give up, pouring massive funds into the bid and insisting that it still had a chance until it presented its final pitch Friday in Moscow. It was eliminated in the first round of balloting.
There was little surprise or disappointment in Istanbul, but it was determined not to give up its dream of staging the games.
By Friday, almost all the Olympic bid flags and banners that once decked Istanbul had been taken down. The sports pages were much more interested in the election of a new chairman for the Galatasaray soccer club.
Istanbul, making its third consecutive bid and on the short list for the first time, did better than expected.
"We got more votes than Paris in the first round," said Togay Bayatli, head of Turkey's National Olympic Committee. "That's a sign that we can win in the future."
"We have to start our new bid tomorrow. ... Istanbul is the favorite for the 2012 Olympics," said Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz.