Sir Steve Redgrave not approached to light Olympic flame at London 2012 opening ceremony

 

Sir Steve Redgrave today revealed he had not been approached to light the Olympic flame at London 2012.

Redgrave has long been the bookmakers' favourite for the honour on Friday night but said this morning he would be "very surprised" if he was called upon.

The man who is one of only four Olympians to have won gold medals at five consecutive Games claimed he was completely in the dark over who would light the cauldron at the Olympic Stadium.

Told he was the favourite, he said to the BBC: "From my point of view, I think that's quite sad, because it never goes to the favourite.

"You look back through history, the organisers want a surprise. They want people to be asking questions of who that person would be.

"I would love to do it. There's no question about that. I would love to be playing a part in the opening ceremony of some sort.

"But I would be very surprised if I was given that honour.

"I haven't had any phone calls yet. Everyone else seems to know what's going on apart from the person who's supposed to be carrying the torch."

Other contenders being mooted include Daley Thompson, Dame Kelly Holmes, Sir Roger Bannister and David Beckham.

It has even been suggested the person should not be well-known but symbolic - for example, a child from the East End of London.

London 2012 chairman Sebastian Coe insisted on Sunday the final decision would be taken by the opening-ceremony creative teams, headed by Danny Boyle and Stephen Daldry.

That appeared slightly at odds with British Olympic Association chief executive Andy Hunt, who stated 24 hours earlier it would be a joint decision between the BOA and London 2012.

Coe also insisted that, despite a report last week, he had not been pushing the claims of his best friend Daley Thompson over Redgrave.

He said: "Is Daley Thompson a really close friend of mine? Yes he is - it's probably not the best-kept secret that he's probably my closest friend. And do I get on well with Steve Redgrave? Yes I do.

"This is not that complicated nor conspiratorial. This isn't an exact science.

"I have said all along it may be very obvious - but it may not be."

PA

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