The Olympic Torch has finally arrived from Athens and burns bright on British soil. A contingency including Beckham, the Princess Royal and Wiff Waff (Boris Johnson) have made us proud tonight. Its arrival has prompted tweets suggesting Beckham will not be the one to light the Olympic Cauldron at the Opening Ceremony. I never thought he would – I mean, he's not exactly an Olympic athlete, is he? A great ambassador and an Olympic money earner, that’s for sure. To quote Obama: ‘It’s a rare man who can be that tough on the field and also have his own line of underwear.’
So it’s been suggested Sir Steve Redgrave must be the one to light the cauldron. Or will it be someone more senior, such as the legendary Roger Bannister, the first man to run the mile in under 4 minutes. He ran at the 1952 Helsinki Olympic Games but didn’t win a medal. I’m trying to think of a female athlete to add to the mix – Sally Gunnell or Kelly Holmes perhaps? Someone suggested the Queen, but I think she’s in the Beckham category. Sorry m’aam.
My money is also on sailor Ben Ainslie to carry the Team GB flag into the stadium at the Opening Ceremony – although I hear he has a back injury and is to be the first person to carry the Olympic Torch in the UK. So perhaps Sir Chris Hoy will be the one to lift the Union Jack?
Whatever happens, I feel very proud this evening to have marked the Olympic Torch’s arrival on British soil. Good luck to all those who are running with the flame over the coming weeks (8,000 people in total). I hope to get a glimpse at Stoke Mandeville when it passes through.