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Beckham dismisses torch lighting talk

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13 Jul 2012 10:17:08

Beckham dismisses torch lighting talk

David Beckham does not believe he should be the one to open the London Games by lighting the Olympic torch.

Following his exclusion from Stuart Pearce's squad, speculation has been rife that Beckham, who was a key member of the bid team which brought the Games to London, would be given the honour of lighting the flame during the opening ceremony.

But Beckham appears to have ruled that out, telling Sky Sports News: "I've always said lighting the torch in the stadium is something that should be done by an Olympian... who has done incredible things for our country and won gold medals."

He added: "I'm sure whoever decides that, it will be an Olympian, but we'll have to wait and see."

The flame looks set to be lit instead by either five-time rowing gold medallist Sir Steve Redgrave or twice decathlon champion Daley Thompson. The British Olympic Association are reported to favour Redgrave, who won gold at consecutive Games between Los Angeles 1984 and Sydney 2000 and was knighted the following year.

Thompson won gold in 1980 and 1984, the only man other than American Bob Mathias to win decathlon gold on two occasions. His score in Los Angeles was recalculated after the event to 8,847 points, a world record at the time and still the British record.

He is reported to have the support of Games organising committee LOCOG, who have direct responsibility for delivering the Games and whose view could therefore prove decisive.

Where Beckham is concerned, LOCOG chairman Sebastian Coe has stated he will be given a role of some description at the Games, but for now the Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder is just looking forward to enjoying the event as a spectator.

"Everyone knows how proud I am of representing my country and to do it in my home town on such a big stage would have been incredible," he said. "So of course I'm disappointed.

"I'm going to be just proud to be there as a fan, more than anything, in a part of London where I grew up. I used to play soccer over the fields that have been changed now. As a fan and as an Englishman, I'm going to be very proud."


PA

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