Juan Rico/Fame Pictures

The soccer star will appear in the final ceremony and kick off London's 2012 games

August 14, 2008 09:45 AM

David Beckham will star in the Aug. 24 closing ceremony of the Beijing Olympics, PEOPLE has confirmed.

“David is going to be in the surprise finale. They always have a segment to do the handover, to showcase the next city to host the Olympics,” a source tells PEOPLE.

When the Games end at Beijing’s National Stadium, the distinction of hosting the Summer Olympics transfers to London in 2012 – with the international soccer star there to help mark the transition.

“He was very involved in the London bid to get it, and as a Londoner he is incredibly proud that the Olympics will be in London,” the source added. “He is passionate about it and looking forward to the games in 2012.”

But Beckham’s already sports-packed schedule won’t leave much time for a leisurely stay in China.

“If his [calendar] works out, he will be able to go from the L.A. Galaxy game to Beijing,” says the source. “It also depends on if he gets picked for the next England game, as he can go on from there.”

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