By around 11pm in the bars surrounding the Palace hotel yesterday, some of the old swagger was starting to return.
International Olympic Committee (IOC) members held court; bid teams relaxed - a little; people like me chewed the fat.
But there has been a strange, end-of-era feel about this week's meetings in the Olympic capital that is light years removed from the euphoria you would expect at a gathering which, let's face it, has seen not one but two cities all but awarded what many would still see as sport's greatest prize.
"Thomas has dodged a bullet," was the verdict of one experienced Olympic observer, alluding to IOC President Thomas Bach.
And of course while yesterday's green light for awarding the 2024 and 2028 Games at the same time does much to shore up the creaking edifice as a turbulent world crumbles around it, the fact that the IOC leadership has felt compelled to do this simply underlines the contrast with the way things used to be for those of us who have chronicled the glory years of recent decades.
"It is better to have one big bird in the hand than a small one on the roof," said Bach during the 130th IOC Session, resorting to one of those homespun analogies so beloved of sports administrators of a certain vintage.
"What we have now are two big birds in the hand and maybe some small ones on the roof," he concluded.
The trouble is, most of us can still remember when the IOC attracted big birds like the pigeon lady in Trafalgar Square.
Moreover, the birds on the roof may be vultures.
For all that, Bach - whose position entails that he adopt a more cautious attitude towards the multitudinous risks confronting the Movement than the rest of us can get away with - deserves some credit for seizing the moment.
But he has also been lucky: you do not have to embark on too wild a flight of fancy to imagine that the French politician making the headlines here this week could have been Marine Le Pen.
Or that the arrival in the White House of Donald Trump could have had a far more destabilising influence on the Los Angeles bid than has actually been the case.
As things stand, Bach and his colleagues can now benefit from the fact that two bright and ambitious city leaders - Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and his Parisian counterpart Anne Hidalgo - have decided, apparently, to build their careers with the help of the Olympics.
To return one last time to my (possibly overactive) imagination, you do not have to embark on too wild a flight of fancy to picture some future Los Angeles Mayor welcoming US President Garcetti and French President Hidalgo to the 2028 Olympic Opening Ceremony.
Yes, I know, life rarely pans out as you expect over a span as long as a decade. But the image gives you an idea of the sort of trajectories Bach and his colleagues might now be able to hitch a ride with.
For all that, the move to shut down traditional bidding for at least six years, and quite possibly for good, seems in some ways a depressingly defensive and unimaginative response to changing times.
Bach spoke yesterday – not for the first time – about a "profound change" in the decision-making process in many countries
"Populist movements", he went on, are on the rise. "Today, when people see that the Government, the opposition, business and the sport community, in other words, when the entire establishment is united behind one project, then the people immediately have mistrust and conclude that something must be terribly wrong."
I would not necessarily disagree with this analysis, but I think there are two ways of reacting to it.
One – the route the IOC has chosen – is to portray what is happening as in some way defective and unrepresentative, and attempt to plough on regardless.
The other is to tailor your message to the new media and new ideas at the root of the current changes and endeavour to inspire some of the critics who are making your life hell.
Until recently, you might have been justified in dismissing this second option as, to deploy a homespun bird analogy of my own, cloud cuckoo land.
But then came a political earthquake in one of the oldest European democracies wrought by a man whose bold plan, brilliantly executed, has lifted the spirits of an entire continent.
And, irony of ironies, he too was intimately involved in this week’s proceedings in Lausanne, sprinkling them with the stardust that they would otherwise have lacked.
This man is, of course, Emmanuel Macron, the new French President.
And yes, his current almost extra-terrestrial standing cannot, and will not, last.
But that does not alter by one iota his achievement in demonstrating what adoption of an offensive strategy towards today’s newly-empowered, anti-establishment populism can do.
For all the talk of change since Bach took over in 2013, there are many ways in which the organisation has still hardly changed at all. Every now and then, some small detail betrays this.
For the most part, Tuesday’s Session was pretty dry and dusty fare – the epitome of inside baseball.
But there were two moments that had watching media rolling in the aisles.
The first was the aforementioned "two birds in the hand" analogy.
The second came when IOC vice-president John Coates (how, by the way, would the IOC have coped yesterday had he lost his recent election?) disclosed that the leadership had gone "outside" for a legal opinion on whether the planned joint two cities award required an amendment to the Olympic Charter.
The laughter came when the source of this "outside" opinion was divulged as François Carrard, an excellent and respected lawyer, but a man who also served as director general of the IOC for well over a decade.
I doubt he would be the late Nobel Prize laureate Albert Camus's idea of an outsider.