Didier Drogba carries the Olympic torch
(official London 2012 Organizing Committee photo)

The Olympic flame continues to wind its way to London, where on July 27th, it will ignite the Olympic cauldron during opening ceremonies for the Games of the XXX Olympiad. During the Olympic torch relay in the United Kingdom, the torch passed through the hands of two of Africa’s biggest football stars, Didier Drogba of Ivory Coast and Nwankwo Kanu of Nigeria.

Drogba carried the Olympic flame shortly after leading Chelsea Football Club to its first ever UEFA Champions League title, and shortly before signing with the Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua in a multi-million dollar deal. At 34, Drogba also continues to captain the Elephants of Ivory Coast, Africa’s highest-ranked football team.

Nwankwo Kanu carries the Olympic torch in Coventry, England
(official London 2012 Organizing Committee photo)

Like Drogba, the 35-year-old Kanu is a two-time winner of the African Footballer of the Year award.  And like Drogba, he’s won medals in the UEFA Champions League, the FA Cup and the English Premier League. But Kanu has one prize that Drogba doesn’t have, an Olympic gold medal.

Kanu captained the Nigerian team that won Olympic gold at the 1996 Atlanta Games in the USA. After watching Nigeria win a silver medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Kanu said he was disappointed Nigeria did not qualify for the 2012 Olympic men’s football tournament.

Kanu and Drogba are just two of 8,000 torchbearers from around the world who will have passed on the flame as it makes its way to the Olympic Stadium in east London. The Olympic torch relay began May 19th in Greece, the birthplace of the Olympics.