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."


Arts and Entertainment
The Ridiculous Six has been produced by Adam Sandler, who also stars in it
filmNew controversy after nine Native American actors walked off set
Life and Style
The original ZX Spectrum was simple to plug into your TV and get playing on
techThirty years on, the ZX Spectrum is back, after a fashion
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk