London 2012 Olympics: Bookies refund flame bets
BOOKMAKERS are to refund all bets on who would light the Olympic cauldron because it would have been impossible for punters to predict that unknown athletes would be chosen for the honour.
After months of speculation, during which the names of sporting greats such as Sir Roger Bannister, the first man to break the four-minute mile, Daley Thompson and Sir Steve Redgrave had been in the frame, it was lit by seven young athletes representing the talent of future Games.
Graham Sharpe, of William Hill, which is to refund around £50,000 worth of bets, said: “What happened, no-one could have predicted. The only fair thing to do was to refund all the bets from over the last seven years.”
Sharpe added: “Redgrave was an early favourite. It’s like a horse coming along the final leg, then along comes another horse and the jockey jumps off and gets on the other one.”
Other bookmakers also voided all bets, saying it was “impossible to back the correct flame lighter”.
One of the seven was Scottish sailor Callum Airlie, from Berwickshire, who within hours was en route to Austria to compete in the youth world championships in Austria.
His mother Julie Robson said Friday was his 17th birthday. “I think it is a case of feelings are beyond description. I think I will watch it a couple of times to know that it was not a dream and it was him.”
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