Olympic flame handed over

The Olympic Flame has been handed to a British delegation including David Beckham and Boris Johnson in Athens.

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No pressure to pick David Beckham for Olympic football team, says Coe

David Beckham has played a key role in backing the London 2012 Games Credit: Reuters

Although David Beckham has played a key role in backing the London 2012 Games, but it does not mean that Stuart Pearce has to pick him for the Olympic football team, Lord Coe has said.

The London 2012 Chairman said: "I think that having David around the Olympic programme is a fantastic thing but it is not for anybody other than Stuart to decide whether he brings value-added to the team."

Olympics minister Hugh Robertson said: "It would be lovely, yes, to see Beckham at the Olympics but he has to be there on the merits of his own performance and nothing else."


Princess Anne hailed for her 'extraordinary' Olympic work

The Princess Royal has been hailed for her Olympic work Credit: Reuters/Kieran Doherty

Princess Anne is one of the "unsungheroes" of any success at the London 2012 Olympics, Games chiefs have said.

London 2012 chairman Lord Coe described the Princess Royal's commitment and passion for the cause as "extraordinary" while Olympics minister Hugh Robertson said her impact has been of "inestimable value".

Princess Anne, who is leading the official British delegation which collects the Olympic Flame in Athens today, is president of the British Olympic Association and has been a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) since 1988.

'Absolute right' for David Beckham to take part in Olympic Flame handover ceremony

David Beckham has played a key role in backing the London 2012 Games Credit: PA

David Beckham has played a key role in backing the London 2012 Games and will take part in the official Olympic Flame handover ceremony in Athens today.

The LA Galaxy player and former England captain has used his high international profile, both on and off the pitch, to help the Games.

London 2012 chairman, Lord Coe, said:

"David has been with us from the very beginning. He was there when the evaluation team came through London. He has hosted people on the Olympic Park for us.

"It is absolutely right that he should be with us."

Lord Coe: Olympic Torch relay 'one of the big moments' towards Games

Lord Coe poses next to the Firefly plane which will carry the Olympic Flame to the UK from Athens Credit: Chris Radburn/LOCOG/PA Wire

Once the Olympic Flame is handed over in Athens, it will be transferred to Lands End where three-time Olympic sailing champion Ben Ainslie will be the first torchbearer in the final 70-day relay to the start of the Games.

London 2012 chairman Lord Coe - who carried the torch in 2004 and also for the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics - has described it as one of the "big moments" towards the Games.

He said: "I have seen hundreds and hundreds of citations of the people who are running. We have got from 12 to 100 (year-olds) with fantastic stories."

Olympic Flame to be handed over in Greece

The Olympic Flame was lit in Olympia by an actress playing the role of High Priestess Credit: Reuters/John Kolesidis

The Olympic Flame will be handed over to a British delegation including David Beckham in Athens later today.

Since the flame was lit in Olympia on 10th May it has been carried in an eight day relay across Greece.

After the handover ceremony in the Panathenaic Stadium, home of the 1896 Athens Games, the flame will be flown to the UK on a special plane, named the Firefly.

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