Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Eight thousand people will carry the Olympic torch before it reaches London to open the summer games, though one would-be torch barer isn't even human. He's a small red fuzzy monster.
KEVIN CLASH: (As Elmo) Elmo's ready to start training to be a monster torch-bearer. Yay. Oh, oh, Cramp, cramp.
Four years ago, Evelyn Stevens was working as a Wall Street investment banker and just starting to race bicycles. But she rose through the cycling ranks quickly, and next month she will represent the United States at the Olympic Games in London.
On a recent muggy morning in busy Central Park, Stevens easily weaves her bicycle through many obstacles.
"There's the horse carriages, there's the bike buggies, there's the Rollerbladers," she says, "the people on their bikes training, the five gajillion joggers, the hot dog stands, the dogs — there's a lot going in."
In just a few weeks, the world will descend on London for the Olympic Games.
But the world goes to London every day, according to Boris Johnson, the former journalist who has just been re-elected mayor of London. In his new book, Johnson says people don't just visit the city, they've made their lives there for centuries now. It's a city, Johnson writes, where national soccer teams from all over the world can show up and count on crowds of thousands of fans to support them.
Swimmer Spyros Gianniotis was born in Liverpool, England, but he will represent Greece in the upcoming London Olympics. At 32, he is the 10-kilometer open-water world champion, and one of Greece's best hopes for a medal in London. He's on a team of Olympians whose training budget has been drastically reduced by austerity measures and the economic crisis.
On a recent morning, Gianniotis' training included three hours of laps in an outdoor Olympic-sized pool in central Athens. The lean, freckled marathon swimmer glides to the end of the pool.