'Solution' reached on lighter of Olympic cauldron

Sunday, July 22, 2012    

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LONDON, England (AP) — The decision-makers finally have an answer to the question of who will light the Olympic cauldron at Friday's opening ceremony.

Steve Redgrave? Daley Thompson? Kelly Holmes? Roger Bannister?

Don't ask, because they're not saying.

"There is a mutually agreeable solution," British Olympic Association chief executive Andy Hunt said yesterday. "A good solution to the outcome."

Hunt and London organising committee counterpart Paul Deighton were tasked with choosing the final torchbearer and protecting that person's identity until the eyes of a billion-plus people are on the Olympic Stadium. Hunt said they were both involved in the meetings, as well as some others.

"It's a joint decision," Hunt said. "Discussions have taken place over quite some time."

One of the others involved is Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle. The man overseeing the opening ceremony has already clashed with TV producers, but Hunt said there were no tensions over the iconic moment of the games curtain-raiser.

"The ceremonies committee, which is made up of Danny Boyle, ... has made recommendations," Hunt said during a briefing at the Olympic Park. "And we can choose to support, or not to support, the recommendations."

And who might those recommendations be? Hunt isn't saying.

Redgrave, a five-time rowing gold medallist, is the favourite with the bookmakers to light the flame. If he knows, he's certainly playing coy.

"I'm working with the BBC on that night and I haven't had any other phone calls that have come through," Redgrave told The Associated Press this week. "If I was needed I'm sure the BBC would release me to do something. Danny Boyle is in charge of the opening ceremony and he'll have a lot to say in what happens in the drama of that and I'm expecting to be a lot of drama involved in the whole opening ceremony.

"I hope I'm involved in some ways. It would be nice to be involved, but there's a lot of great sports athletes out there that equally deserve to be involved."

Such as Thompson, the decathlon champion at the 1980 and 1984 Games.

Thompson sees Redgrave as his Olympic inferior due to his lack of track credentials. Instead, Thompson modestly ranks himself alongside Sebastian Coe, a two-time Olympic champion in the 1,500 metres who is now the head of the London organising committee.



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