IT was a balmy autumn night in Monaco, in 1993.
The International Olympic Committee had just dismissed Manchester's bid to host the 2000 Games. By just two votes, Sydney beat the Beijing favourites. The dead of Tiananmen Square had apparently at last been heard. The Chinese hostesses had been preparing to hand out cuddly pandas called Xie Xie – Thank you. Instead they wept as they repacked them.
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