Olympic torch igniter unknown, IOC head says

Olympic torch igniter unknown, IOC head says

PanARMENIAN.Net - Not even IOC President Jacques Rogge knows who will light the cauldron at the opening ceremony of the London Games but he'd like it to be an Olympic champion, according to The Associated Press.

"I'd love to know, but I don't know," Rogge said Friday, July 27 just hours ahead of the opening at the Olympic Stadium. "This is one of the best kept secrets. We have an agreement with organizing committees. It's your responsibility. We need not know."

Rogge complimented local organizers for managing to keep the identity of the final torchbearer or torchbearers under wraps even from the British media.

"Hats off to the organizing committee," he said. "I know how strong (the British) press is but sometimes the organizing committee is a bit stronger. It's not bad."

British rower Steve Redgrave, who won team gold medals at five consecutive Olympics, has long been considered the favorite for the honor of lighting the flame. Daley Thompson, a two-time decathlon champion, was viewed as his leading challenger.

But Roger Bannister is now the even-money favorite with British bookmaker William Hill after a surge in bets Thursday on the man who broke the 4-minute barrier in the mile in 1954.

Bannister never won an Olympic medal, though, finishing fourth in the 1,500 meters at the 1952 Helsinki Games.

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