Beckham: The Olympics will be a boost for my hometown

Footballer David Beckham said London 2012 would boost the fortunes of his native East End for generations.

The former England captain, who was raised near the Olympic Village, said the opening of the Games would be an “amazing moment”.

Speaking as he made an appearance at City Hall, Beckham said the transformation of the area would not end with the Games.

He also spoke of his pride in bringing the Olympics to his home turf. Read more

Michelle Obama and David Beckham have the kids on the run

Crikey she’s good. Michelle Obama is wearing some jacket or other, teamed with some or other trousers, as she arrives at the US Ambassador’s residence in Regent’s Park. The Florida University marching band serenade her as she passes. She seems to be moving pretty fast. “Is that … ?” the press corps is confused. “Is she jogging?” The First Lady is freaking jogging. “That must have come from her,” someone remarks, aghast. “Nobody can have told her to jog.”

She takes the stage. She says hello. “I’m so excited to be here today to share my love of sports,” she remarks, winningly. I’ve been swept away by the Olympic spirit, but she seems to me to be the very embodiment of the healthy, five-a-day life.

The purpose of the event is to introduce kids to sports, lesser-spotted sports and alarming mascots. Some are budding athletes, like the girls from Halifax Harriers, who know obscure things like the fastest time of Usain Bolt’s training partner. Some are kids from American military families stationed here, “so please be respectful of that,” the press officer says (I’m not sure what this means. Should we bow?). Some are regular kids, who want to be footballers but not really for the football. “I’m definitely going to be a footballer,” 9-year-old Yuvraj Singhlard, from Bow, tells me, craning his neck to see where one of the stewards is going with a man dressed up as a Power Ranger. “Where’s she taking him? Do you think she’s going to beat him up?” Continue