Summer Olympics kick off with opening ceremony Friday

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email
The Olympics are finally here, and with Friday night

In this Wednesday, July 25, 2012 photo, a blimp flies in the sky as the sun sets behind the Olympic Stadium at the 2012 Summer Olympics, in London. A world city that needs no introduction, but scarred by terror bombings, riots and economic crisis since picked as Olympic host seven years ago, will launch the 2012 summer games with a spectacular opening ceremony Friday faced with a unique challenge: to be as memorable as Beijing's planet-wowing, money-no-object Olympic extravaganza of 2008. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)

The Olympics are finally here, and with Friday night's opening ceremony fast approaching, the speculation is mounting over who will earn the honor of lighting the Olympic flame.

Bookmakers have assigned odds on who will be the final torchbearer, so this is something you can actually bet on. The British Olympic Association said last week they've made their selection, so a handful of people already know the identity.

That's only heightened the debate, even between some of the contenders.

Sir Steve Redgrave is a five-time rowing gold medalist, but he's publicly questioned if two-time decathlon gold medalist Daley Thompson should get the nod over him. Thompson, meanwhile, has said he's more deserving than Sebastian Coe, two-time Olympic champion in the 1,500 meters and head of the London organizing committee.

And don't forget the celebrities or the royals.

Among the other names bandied about has been Prince William, David Beckham, Paul McCartney, or, maybe, an electronic device. In 1992, archer Antonio Rebollo opened the Games by shooting a flaming arrow toward the cauldron.

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