London Eye: Leyton Orient's Barry Hearn has a dream and it is to go to the ball


Click to follow

Leyton Orient FC chairman Barry Hearn said yesterday that he had "a Martin Luther King moment" as he submitted Orient's bid for tenancy of the Olympic Stadium.

Hearn, speaking to The Independent on behalf of Samsung's Hope Relay, said that Orient's bid might not be the most profitable but it would be best for the local community.

"I had a Martin Luther King moment, I had a dream," Hearn said. "It's where I'm from. This represents a gamble but then life is a gamble. The potential upside might create something extremely novel in this commercial world we live in."

Orient's rivals include another bid from West Ham United and an attempt to make it part of a Formula One circuit.

"You have to decide whether we are in this for the money," Hearn said. "I'm not saying my one makes the most money. But we have to ask whether we are just going to sell ourselves out. I am excited about the creativity and the community values that we bring. It's that Cinderella story, and we want to go to the ball."

Pavoni definitely won't miss mum

While Team GB's men's football team yesterday departed for Middlesbrough – complete with souvenir dogtags given to all 542 members of Team GB – after a night in the Olympic Village, the swimmers remained in place in order to take advantage of a final opportunity for a practice session in the pool before heading to Edinburgh for their final training camp today.

Roberto Pavoni, who is preparing for his first Games, was made to feel particularly at home in the village – his mum is a volunteer there.

Tea is the tipple for 1948 veteran

The British Olympic Association yesterday held a reunion lunch at its Games HQ for 48 athletes who were part of the home team the last time London hosted the Games in 1948.

"We didn't realise there were still so many of us around," said Sylvia Disley, a 200m runner. "I'm looking forward to going along [to the Games] but most of all I'm just looking forward to watching it at home with a cup of tea."

Tweets of the day

Just arrived in cold rainy Manchester. Good thing the Hilton has the comfiest beds. Great to see the rest of the team Stephanie Rice

Man @Twitter can I get that blue verified check, I'm going to the Olympics! What do people have to do! Justyn Warner

Decorating our apartment in GB Flag paper chains :-) Rebecca Adlington

Barry Hearn was speaking on behalf of Samsung’s Olympic charity initiative, the Samsung Hope Relay. For every mile clocked up through the free Samsung Hope Relay app, Samsung will donate £1 to charities including Kids Company and International Inspiration, helping young people create a better future. Visit