June 19 2013 Latest news:
Sunday, July 29, 2012
Olympics legend Sir Steve Redgrave has praised Danny Boyle’s opening ceremony for London 2012, while admitting he was a “little disappointed” not to light the cauldron.
Five-time gold medallist Redgrave was the favourite for the honour on Friday but director Boyle instead went for a group of seven up-and-coming young athletes selected by Redgrave and six other great Olympians.
Redgrave, who selected 19-year-old Cameron MacRitchie as one of the seven, took the flame into the Olympic Stadium before handing it on.
Writing in The Sunday Telegraph, Redgrave said: “Looking back I must admit that when I was told it would not be me lighting the flame at the Olympic Ceremony, I was a little disappointed.
“It was not a question of arrogance. It was about the expectation of everybody I knew, who kept saying that it had to be me when deep down I knew that it was not going to happen.
“For I had been called two and a half weeks earlier by Danny Boyle’s number two with a rough idea of what they wanted in terms of lighting the flame.”
He added: “As an extremely competitive individual with an ego, there is a part of me that would love to have lit the flame. I never had any problem with seven youngsters taking the torch, because it was a genuinely humbling spectacle. But it was the expectations of others that I found difficult.
“On reflection, however, I think the organisers got this right. We won the bid on legacy and for all of us it is about the Olympics inspiring a future generation - what better way to do this than the symbolic passing on of the greatest symbol of the Olympics to the next generation?”
Redgrave said he felt the opening ceremony had brought a chapter of his life to an end.
“My life has, in many respects, been defined by the Olympics and their values,” he said. “So I feel that I have completed my Olympic journey, as I have passed the torch to the next generation. It is now with them to create their own history.”