London 2012: Eddie Izzard Carries Olympic Torch

 

LONDON -- The Olympic torch relay for the London2012 Summer Games on Tuesday got a little bit more attention than usual thanks to comedian Eddie Izzard who briefly carried the torch late in the day.

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"About to run with the Olympic Torch in #Bexhill," Izzard tweeted Tuesday. The marathon-running entertainment veteran was part of a contingent of runners that carried the torch from Pevensey to Bexhill where he grew up. The comedy pro carried the torch for about 300 meters.

The torch is expected to reach host city London for the first time this weekend when it is carried from Greenwich to Waltham Forest on Saturday. It will then hit various parts of the capital until it will reach the opening ceremony of the Games on Friday, July 27.

Meanwhile, London 2012 Summer Olympics organizers told the Guardian Tuesday that they have given up on their goal of selling all 8.8m tickets for the Games.

Ten days before the Olympics kick off, organizing committee chairman Sebastian Coe said that soccer tickets outside of London have proven a particular challenge. As a result, 500,000 of 2.5 million soccer tickets would be removed from sale and the corresponding parts of stadiums would be cordoned off for some matches, the paper said.

While matches involving the men and women home teams have sold well, others have faced more challenges in the usually soccer-crazy nation. Olympic soccer tournaments though often don't include all the best teams, particularly after the recent Euro 2011 European championship.

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There are also 50,000 non-soccer tickets that are still available plus 250,000 that will be back on the market due to overseas returns and the like. They include tickets for such events as volleyball and beach volleyball and even the opening and closing ceremonies.

Coe also told the Guardian that the recent inclement weather in and around London has led to challenges at some Olympic venues, with emergency measures being implemented for some waterlogged rural locations, including Greenwich Park, where equestrian and pentathlon events are scheduled to be held, and Eton Dorney, the site for rowing and canoe events.

"This is proving quite a challenge to us," said Coe. "We've got waterlogged sites, we've got resurfacing taking place, particularly in some of our more sensitive sites, our more rural sites."

He added: "At Greenwich Park and Eton Dorney we're laying down a track way and surfaces for spectators and vehicles - now and through the Games. We're building additional shelters for our workforce."

If worst comes to worst and the rain continues, Coe said some Olympic events could be rescheduled. "We have got the contingency of extra days available to us in rowing and equestrian sport as a last resort," he explained.

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Also on Tuesday, the CEO of security firm G4S told a parliamentary committee here about holes in the Olympics security plan. He said he still couldn't guarantee that all the 7,000 security guards his company is contracted to supply would turn up on the opening day of the Summer Games and that an additional 500 British soldiers may have to be called up.

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