The Beckham Olympics
David Beckham was in Athens yesterday with Princess Anne at the Olympic Torch Handover ceremony. The Torch begins its journey to London tomorrow and will travel across England until July 27th when the Games begin.
Accuse me of being a slave to globalisation all you want but I LOVE the Olympics. I schedule my schedule around the Olympics. I can’t wait to watch the Olympics. I can’t wait to watch Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte to go head to head in the pool. And please know now that I will not be blogging during that race. (It’s a short race.) My apartment will be on Olympic lockdown.
But will there be a Beckham to watch at the Olympics? They’re saying he could be named as an “over-age” selection to play for Team GB football. They’re also saying that his selection would be purely commercial. That he sells tickets, jerseys, ads - financial considerations some feel have been prioritised over merit. When asked about this yesterday in Athens, Becks, who has 115 caps, seemed hurt:
“I have never said it before but that suggestion has always felt a bit disrespectful. Whenever I have been asked about shirt sales or filling stadiums it has always felt it is a bit disrespectful. Throughout my career I have been pretty successful, I’ve played for some pretty big teams, represented my country quite a few times, and played for managers without sentiment. When you play for Sir Alex Ferguson, Fabio Capello, Sven Goran Eriksson or the manager that I have played under, they don’t pick players because they want to fill a stadium or particularly to sell shirts. I have always found it an honour that people have wanted to buy my shirt and an honour that fans turn up to watch the team I am playing in. I have always found that a huge honour. But no, I don’t want to be picked for shirt sales or as a stadium-filler, I want to be picked for what I can bring to the team. That has been the case throughout my career and I don’t want that to change. I am playing well and feeling fit, we are only nine games into our season, and fitness has never been a problem for me so if I am selected I will be in good condition. I want to play. That’s my only objective. Something that I have now is experience. I am 37 and I have experience of playing in big games. When I was captain that was one of the things I was able to bring to the team, the confidence and the hard work that you need to win. Experience will be important because when you have a team of young kids coming together for the Olympics for a short period of time it is important to have that experience in there. 'I've never played in an Olympic Games before and never taken part in an Olympic Games so I would love to, I'd love to be part of the team.” (Source)
Whether or not he makes it, the Beckhams will be in London for the duration of the Games. Apparently Victoria’s even doing some kind of fashion and style presentation in one of the exhibit tents. Maybe next time they’ll ask her to design the official Team GB uniforms.