London Olympic triple jumper Jonathan Edwards found it all too hard to believe.
A day earlier, he was celebrating victory in Singapore, where London was the surprise pick to play host to the 2012 Summer Games. Then came news of the deadly bombings Thursday morning.
"All us guys who have been involved in the bid have been : right up there in the clouds and just hardly believing what is happening," he said. "Now we are hardly believing what is happening, but just at the other end of the emotional spectrum."
In the worst attack on London since World War II, four terrorist bombings shook the city from its Olympics revelry and turned triumph into triage.
The heart of the capital was hit by a series of deadly explosions that rocked its subway and tore open a packed double-decker bus during morning rush hour. At least 37 people were dead, and hundreds were wounded, police said.
International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge said the blasts weren't "an attack against the games."
"Cities like London, Paris, New York all face these kind of risks, and remember what happened in Moscow and Madrid," he said. "There are no safe havens."
In getting the 2012 Games, London won the right to stage its first Olympics since 1948. Led by two-time Olympic gold medalist Sebastian Coe, the city beat longtime favorite Paris as well as Madrid, New York and Moscow.
Wednesday, a jubilant Coe proclaimed, "This is our moment." Thursday, he was commenting on the violence, calling the bombings a "despicable terrorist attack."
The IOC said it remained convinced London would deliver a safe Olympics.
"From what we understand, this is not at all related to the Olympic games," IOC spokeswoman Giselle Davies said in Singapore. "We have full confidence in the London authorities in securing the event."
Before heading home from the IOC meeting, London Mayor Ken Livingstone said: "This was not a terrorist attack against the mighty or the powerful. It is not aimed at presidents or prime ministers. It was aimed at ordinary working-class Londoners."
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The jubilant scenes in Trafalgar Square on Wednesday contrasted with the trail of ambulances taking bloodied passengers to hospitals. Thousands of people who phoned each other Wednesday to celebrate the Olympic triumph were calling each other on Thursday to make sure friends and family had escaped the bombings.
"Yesterday we were quite glad that we got the Olympic bid," said Arvind Mavji, a worker at Euston railway station. "Today we are wondering if it was worth it."
Sports events scheduled in London for Thursday and a horse racing meet at nearby Epsom were called off. But a one-day international cricket match between England and Australia in the north England city of Leeds and the Scottish Open golf tournament at Loch Lomond went ahead.
Formula One's British Grand Prix will proceed as scheduled, with qualifying starting Saturday and the race Sunday at Silverstone. The course is in central England, about an hour's drive north of London.
"These things are a part of modern life and we'll have to live with them," English golfer Mark James, the defending champion at the Champions Tour's Senior Players Championship, said after his round near Detroit. "It's a horrendous thing."
Star tennis player Greg Rusedski is playing in the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships in Newport, R.I. He said he lives a few miles from the site of the attacks.
"We just have to put everything in perspective," he said. "We're just playing a game of tennis when such a terrible thing has happened."