David Beckham has key role in Olympic opening ceremony

2012 Olympics torch

Olympic gossip: Famous footballer is part of the Games opener, but watch out for the smog

LAST UPDATED AT 12:14 ON Wed 25 Jul 2012

David Beckham has been given an official role in the Olympic opening ceremony, reports the BBC. Though the former England captain would not give up any details, he did say that he felt 'honoured' and 'proud' to be involved in the ceremony. London 2012 chief Lord Sebastian Coe jumped at the chance to include Beckham after the footballer's surprise omission from the GB football squad. "David has been an extraordinary supporter," Lord Coe said.

London 2012 Games kick off in Wales
The London 2012 Olympic Games begin today... in Cardiff. Two days before the official opening ceremony kicks off in London, the GB women's football team faces New Zealand at the Millennium Stadium, reports The Evening Standard. Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt will be in attendance alongside Welsh Secretary Cheryl Gillan, who said she was "immensely proud" that the Games will start in Wales.

Smog could affect Olympic performances
A "perfect storm" of smog pollution could hamper the efforts of Olympic athletes if the hot weather in London continues, reports The Guardian. The smog over London, caused by high temperatures and easterly winds can cause breathing problems and could affect athletes in the marathon, triathlon, and long distance cycling events. The pollution level is currently put at six, but a smog alert will be issued if it rises to seven.

Heather Watson claims Olympic tennis spot
Rising tennis star Heather Watson has earned an Olympic call-up after Ukraine's Alona Bondarenko pulled out of the singles event through injury, reports The Daily Telegraph. Following an encouraging year, during which she became the first woman to make the third round at Wimbledon, Watson has climbed to No 67 in the world rankings. She was already representing GB in the doubles with Laura Robson, but will now become the third British female singles player in the draw.

Paddy Power takes action over Locog ad threat
Betting company Paddy Power is fighting fire with fire as it takes legal action against Locog after the Games organisers tried to ban a "cheeky" billboard poster, reports The Guardian. In the ad Paddy Power describes itself as "the Official sponsor of the largest athletics event in London this year" before revealing it is referring to an egg and spoon race in London, France. There are strict guidelines surrounding sponsorship at the Olympics that Locog and the IOC are intent on upholding. · 

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