Thu 5 Jul 2012
Filed under: International
International figures including Muhammad Ali and Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi are among the candidates that have been considered by London 2012 to play a part in the opening ceremony of the Games and the final stages of the Olympic flame’s journey into the stadium.
The Telegraph understands that ceremony director Danny Boyle and his team have considered the merits of asking Ali, who lit the cauldron at the Atlanta Games in 1996, and the Burma opposition leader who was released from 15 years of house arrest last year, to take up roles.
Suu Kyi was in the UK last month and was granted the rare honour of addressing both houses of Parliament in Westminster Hall. London 2012 organisers are understood to have approached her during the visit to discuss whether she would be available for the opening ceremony.
She has indicated she will be spending the summer in Burma, but Ali is scheduled to be in London for a fund-raising event at the Royal Albert Hall two days before the opening ceremony.
While it is unlikely that either he or Suu Kyi will have the honour of lighting the cauldron, that international figures of their stature have been considered demonstrates that Boyle is casting the net far wider than previously thought.
According to London 2012, plans for the lighting of the cauldron have not been finalised, but planning for who and how the cauldron will be lit is at an advanced stage.