Wednesday, July 11, 2012

So who will carry the Olympic torch into the stadium .. and light the cauldron?

The final torch bearers are always the the focus of speculation leading to the run into the Olympic stadium (which I saw when I was in London in early June).  Who will be the final runners?  Who will carry the Olympic Flag?  Who will light the cauldron?

There are rumors that the duke and duchess of Cambridge will be among the torch runners in the final days leading to the Opening Ceremony at Olympic Stadium on July 27.  The stadium and several other venues are located in Stratford, East London, within walking distance of several Tube stations, two train stations, and the Westfield Shopping Centre, where one can look into the stadium from a vantage point in the John Lewis department store.

William and Catherine may be one of the runners in London, but I do not think they will be among the final runners or the one who lights the cauldron.

The final runners are more likely to be British sport stars, past and present.  Even though Sir Roger Bannister, who was the first runner to break the 4 minute mile, held the Olympic torch yesterday at Iffley Stadium, in Oxford, where he broke his record in May 1954.

Unlike other torch bearers, he did not wear the official Moment to Shine track suit.  Could he be wearing it at the Opening Ceremonies?  Lord Coe, who headed the committee to bring the Games to London, and is now, head of the Organizing committee, has already taken part in the torch relay.  So has Sir Steve Redgrave.   Daley Thompson, who won the Gold Medal in the Decathlon in 1980 and 1984, makes my list as one of the final runners.  He is not on the list of torch bearers nor is Steve Ovett, the great runner.  Nor is Linford Christie.   I am sure there are other British athletes who have not yet appeared in the torch relay ... and are on the final list (which won't be made public until the second before they run into the stadium.)

I also think the Princess Royal may also have a part in the Opening Ceremony due to her own role in bringing the Games to London.    The Queen, as head of state, will open the Games.  Other members of her family will be seen at many venues, but director Danny Boyle and the organizing committee are unlikely to include them into the final torch run. 

Put on your thinking caps, and start considering British athletes, past and present, who have stood on the podium, at an Olympics, or other major sporting events.  David Beckham.  There are many great British athletes to consider, male and female! 

Jayne Torvill & Christopher Dean skated with the torch.  Sir Steve Redgrave rowed with one arm, and carried the torch in the other.   Torvill & Dean also did not wear the Moment to Shine track suits when they skated with the torch?  Perhaps the greatest ice dancers of all time will also have a role in the Opening Ceremony!

All will be revealed on July 27!   The London Organizing Committee have done a superb job in making use of already built facilities for some events.  Beach volleyball at Horse Guards (I hope the Guards who are assigned there get free tickets!).  Cycling at Hampton Court.  Tennis at (where else) Wimbledon. Soccer at Old Trafford in Manchester.   The Mall will be used for Cycling and the Marathon.  The arena built for Basketball will be offered to Rio for the next games.

1 comment:

Hopewell said...

Heck maybe the Queen herself will lace up her "trainers" and run! lol.... It's very likely the last Olympics in a Commonwealth Country in her lifetime....... Not too likely, I know, but being seen in a jogging suit with no handbag and a ball cap would boost her image as able to change with the times!!

Since Anne fell off her horse, she wouldn't necessarily be the best choice.