London 2012: Danny Boyle Mum on Who Will Light Olympic Cauldron at Opening Ceremony
LONDON - A handful of tickets for the Summer Olympics opening ceremony were still available as of early Friday as filmmaker Danny Boyle, who is in charge of the show, thanked everyone here involved in its production.
He once again declined to divulge new details about the ceremony though, including who will light the cauldron with the Olympic flame Friday night, as he and organizers along with local media have vowed to keep many parts of the spectacular a surprise beyond things he has divulged so far.
Asked who would light the cauldron with the Olympic flame, he wouldn't tell, according to some tweets from people who attended the event. Queen Elizabeth II has become a late bet to light the cauldron, with one bookmaker slashing his odds on her overnight, according to the Guardian.
Other favorites include soccer star David Beckham and past British Olympians Roger Bannister, the man who ran the first sub-four minute mile, and rower Steve Redgrave who won gold medals at five consecutive Olympics.
As of Friday morning, there were 50 tickets left to the London 2012 Summer Olympics opening ceremony late in the day, broadcaster ITV reported.
The 80,000-seat stadium in Stratford had high-end tickets worth £2,012 ($3,163) and £1,600 ($2,515) available, and they were expected to sell during the day, it said.
Early Friday also saw London mayor Boris Johnson and the British government reiterate that the capital was ready for the Summer Games. "Everything is absolutely in place," Johnson told media.
The government committee in charge of the Olympics had a final meeting Friday morning. In a statement, it said it has concluded "that London is ready to stage the Olympic Games."
International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge was also quoted on British television on Friday as saying he believed the Games were well prepared, and London seemed ready for them.
Meanwhile, Boyle was at an event ahead of the opening ceremony. A U.K. government Twitter feed quoted Boyle as saying: "Directors sit at the back in the end, but it's volunteers that have to get up and do it. My excitement is for them."
He was also quoted as saying: "I hope this celebrates the best of us." Boyle on Friday also thanked the media for not spilling his secrets.
The U.K. government on Friday in a separate statement said that it expects more than a hundred heads of state and government "to play a part in the Olympic Games." They include U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama, presidential candidate Mitt Romney and members of the royal families of Brunei, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Spain and Sweden. More than eighty of these dignitaries are expected to attend the opening ceremony, the government statement said.
"This is a real opportunity to demonstrate the best of what Britain can offer and to raise issues on the world stage, which will enhance and develop our relationships with other countries, whether in diplomacy, culture, sport, or trade and investment," the government said.