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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

U.S. women's soccer player Sydney Leroux put it best when she tweeted a photo of her credential. She said: "I look like I would burn down your house."

—Joseph White — Twitter http://twitter.com/JGWhiteAP

FLAME MYSTERY

So where will the Olympics flame burn? Steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal says the ruby-red sculpture that towers over London's Olympic Stadium is not the cauldron that will hold the ceremonial flame. Mittal had floated the idea, but plans arrived too late for consideration.

The lighting of the cauldron is always a big moment for the Olympics, and organizers usually withhold details to ensure drama. But usually there is some structure — somewhere — that hints where the flame will burn.

Suspicion had long fallen on the ArcelorMittal Orbit Tower, but Mittal says the tower is art, not a fire vessel for the games that start Friday.

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

GAMES — WHAT GAMES?

AP's Joseph White reports in from Scotland:

Yes, I'm at the Olympics — but I'm some 400 miles (640 kilometers) from center stage.

Glasgow is hosting some of the soccer matches but the Scottish city doesn't have much of an Olympic vibe. In London, one can hardly walk 20 feet without spotting a special Olympic traffic lane or a billboard or some sort of notice; in Glasgow, there is a lonely sign at the main train station telling fans where to queue to catch the subway to historic Hampden Park, plus some Olympic-themed banners lining the streets.

The action starts with a pair of women's matches Wednesday — two days before the opening ceremony in London — and the locals have given away thousands of tickets to schools and other youth so the 52,000-seat stadium won't feel so empty.

The two cities can't even agree on the weather.

London had a beautiful sunny day Monday, while Glasgow was so wet and dreary that the U.S. women's team had to take their team photo in the stadium's VIP seats instead of on the field to stay dry. Tuesday in Glasgow, however, is sunnier.

—Joseph White — Twitter http://twitter.com/JGWhiteAP

OLYMPIC VARNISH

Kati Elliott has got a nail for you.

The 20-year-old manicurist can paint 240 different designs — all versions of national flags — at the P&G Salon in the Olympic media village. The company has similar salons in the athletes village and in central London at the US Olympic family home, where they cater to athletes' moms.

On a recent day, Kati was sporting designs for Great Britain, Sao Tome and Principe, USA, Myanmar and South Africa, all on one hand. The most complicated design? She thinks it's the U.S. Virgin Islands, which packs an eagle, state colors and a shield all into one nail.

—Sheila Norman-Culp — Twitter http://twitter.com/snormanculp

TORCH INTERLUDE

From AP's Fergus Bell, a Londoner:

At 8:47 a.m. the Olympic Torch passed along the route near my house, and I was able to experience the torch relay as it was meant to be experienced. And what is that, precisely?

Hundreds of excited men, women and children lined the residential suburban streets. Next came the huge police presence: I counted at least six police motorcycles before I caught a glimpse of the procession.

One poor woman innocently reversed out of her driveway at the wrong moment and was promptly surrounded. The police were good-natured; with three days left, they've probably seen it all.

Then you see the runner. Well, not quite.

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