Who will light the Olympic flame in London?
AC Milan English soccer star David Beckham is injured after received a kick from Chievo Verona midfielder Giampiero Pinzi during the Serie A soccer match between AC Milan and Chievo at the San Siro stadium in Milan, Italy, Sunday, March 14, 2010. AP Photo/Antonio Calanni.
David Beckham’s odds to light the Olympic flame must have shortened now that he has missed selection for the English team as a player.
As with Sydney 2000, it is a great topic around office water coolers in London right now to who will be given the honour. Surely there is many others greats who could have the honour but can they match Beckham’s international rock star profile?
Let’s examine a few contenders.
What about Princess Anne? A 1976 Olympian herself but royal protocol may cancel her chances out. Her daughter Zara Philips is in the equestrian team and could be a contender but the same protocol may dismiss her chances even though she is not an officially titled royal.
Lord Sebastian Coe? Hee is head of the organising committee. It would smack of self indulgence if he does.
Daley Thomson the 1984 decathlete champion might be a chance, but his star has faded somewhat.
Former English football hero Gary Lineker may be a name touted, but his achievements have been overshadowed by Beckham.
Looking outside the Olympic spectrum, maybe jockey Lester Piggott is a chance. However, falling foul of the law in 1987, resulting in jail time for tax issues would surely cancel him out.
Formula one ace Sir Jackie Stewart? Potentially, but not sure whether Lord Coe would risk giving the honour to a Scot. If he wanted to ensure the Games are seen as British and not just English, you would think Stewart’s appointment might be a chance .
Although I am sure the job has already been awarded, last minute changes could be made should Andy Murray win Wimbledon.
Perhaps the greatest challenger to Beckham is rower Sir Steven Redgrave. He won gold medals at five consecutive Olympic Games from 1984 to 2000 and was hailed Britain’s greatest Olympian. However, since he is not well known outside of Britain and rowing circles my money is on Beckham.