Sydney was selected as the host city for the 2000 Games in 1993. Teams from 199 countries participated. The Games’ cost was estimated to be A$6.6 billion. The Games received universal acclaim, with the organisation, volunteers, sportsmanship and Australian public being lauded in the international media. Bill Bryson from The Times called the Sydney Games "one of the most successful events on the world stage", saying that they "couldn't be better".
James Mossop of the Electronic Telegraph called the Games "such a success that any city considering bidding for future Olympics must be wondering how it can reach the standards set by Sydney", while Jack Todd in the Montreal Gazette suggested that the "IOC should quit while it's ahead. Admit there can never be a better Olympic Games, and be done with it," as "Sydney was both exceptional and the best".
In preparing for the 2012 Olympic Games in London, Lord Coe declared the Sydney Games the "benchmark for the spirit of the Games, unquestionably" and admitting that the London organising committee "attempted in a number of ways to emulate what the Sydney Organising Committee did." These were the final Olympic Games under the IOC presidency of Juan Antonio Samaranch. These were also the second Olympic Games to be held in spring and is to date the most recent games not to be held in its more traditional July or August summer slot.
The final medal tally was led by the United States, followed by Russia and China with host Australia at fourth place overall. Several World and Olympic records were broken during the games. With little or no controversies, the games were deemed generally successful with the rising standard of competition amongst nations across the world.
Sydney won the right to host the Games on 24 September 1993, after being selected over Beijing, Berlin, Istanbul and Manchester in four rounds of voting, at the 101st IOC Session in Monte Carlo, Monaco. The Australian city of Melbourne had lost out to Atlanta for the 1996 Summer Olympics four years earlier. Beijing lost its bid to host the games to Sydney in 1993, but was later awarded the 2008 Summer Olympics in July 2001 after Sydney hosted the previous year, and it would eventually be awarded the 2022 Winter Olympics twenty-two years later in 2015. Although it is impossible to know why members of the International Olympic Committee voted for Sydney over Beijing in 1993, it appears that an important role was played by Human Rights Watch's campaign to "stop Beijing" because of China's human rights record. Many in China were angry at what they saw as U.S.-led interference in the vote, and the outcome contributed to rising anti-Western sentiment in China and tensions in Sino-American relations.