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Eyes on London: David Beckham has opening ceremony role

Associated Press

Published: Tuesday, July 24 2012 5:01 p.m. MDT

From the main concourse, it's a staggering hike up 169 steeply pitched steps to row 62. Tickets in that part of the building should've at least come with a warning: Making this climb could be hazardous to your health unless you're in decent physical condition.

The view isn't much, either. The entire pool is visible, in spite of the sloping roof over the temporary seats, but the swimmers look like ants in the water. Fortunately, there are video screens hanging from the ceiling.

Also note, on days when the weather turns unseasonably balmy, as it did Tuesday on the hottest day of the year in Britain, the top row of the aquatic center is downright boiling. The building is already kept on the warm side for the comfort of the scantily clad swimmers, and the heat was nearly unbearable on the top row Tuesday.

Just imagine what it's going to feel like with 17,000 fans around you.

—Paul Newberry — Twitter http://twitter.com/pnewberry1963

GETTING A GLIMPSE

The Olympic Park is ringed off by security fences, making access for the public difficult except for those with credentials and, later this week, tickets. But that hasn't stopped the public from coming out to take a look. And some locations are clearly better than others.

At the large, multistory John Lewis department store — on the edge of the Olympic Park and nestled in a sprawling shopping mall — dozens of people took advantage of the wide, tall window that overlooks the park and provides a clear view of the main stadium that will be the site of Friday night's opening ceremonies.

Children and adults pressed against the window to catch a view, as today's clear, cloudless skies provided a crystal-clear picture of the park and other parts of London.

—Lou Ferrara — Twitter http://twitter.com/louferrara

ROUGH ASSIGNMENT

Prince Harry's office says he will attend the women's beach volleyball event on Aug. 8 — the day the gold medal is awarded. The event is being held at Horseguard's Parade in central London near Downing Street, the prime minister's residence.

Tickets for the event have been one of the most sought after in the games.

—Danica Kirka — Twitter http://twitter.com/danicakirka

SERENA'S BACK — AND NOT BOTHERED BY HER BACK

Serena Williams says her back is just fine and won't hamper her attempt at another title at Wimbledon.

But whether she'll go for three Olympic golds or just two is still up in the air.

Williams pulled out of a World Team Tennis match last week to rest her back ahead of the London Olympics, but said Tuesday she's fit and ready for a quick return to the All England Club. She won her fifth Wimbledon title there this month, and also teamed with sister Venus to win the doubles tournament.

"I feel really good going into these Olympic Games, and wanting to do really well," Serena Williams said at a news conference with the U.S. team.

Venus and Serena will try to defend their doubles gold medal as well, though the team has yet to announce which players will feature in mixed doubles.

Venus said both she and Serena have the ability to win all three tournaments, but that "we know we have to be in the ultimate fitness level to do so."

"At the end of the day it's really up to what our team captains want, and obviously being realistic and seeing who really has the best chance to win because we really want to bring medals home," Venus said.

—Mattias Karen — Twitter http://twitter.com/mattekaren

ATCHOO!

New Zealand is taking no chances with the health of its rowing squad in the run-up to the London Olympics.

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