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It’s perhaps a touch surprising that tattooed and perpetually-injured British soccer star David Beckham might be planning to climb Kilimanjaro. But it’s not that bizarre — he is an elite-performing athlete, after all, who likely feeds on adrenaline and likes to push the physical envelope. Things take a turn into Strangeville, though, when you take into account that he’s been invited to climb the 19,341-ft. volcano by golden-throated U2 singer and world-problem-solver Bono.
Ladies and gentlemen, we have just lost cabin pressure.
Like most big-time celebrity excursions, the ascent was inspired by philanthropy; in this case, Bono hopes to raise money and awareness for children’s charity Unicef. Beckham himself became a Unicef ambassador to Sierra Leone in January, and the two may be joined by West Hampton goalkeeper Robert Green, as well as the requisite posse of media and guides.
Before you go bend it like Beckham on a 14er in celebration, though, keep in mind that this news comes to us from Britain’s The Sun — an esteemed publication, to be sure, but one that occasionally traffics in grade-A gossip. Still, the paper’s “source” claims Beckham (Becks to the Brits) is “absolutely set” to tackle the highest point in Africa with Paul Hewson, er, I mean, Bono.
“He was a bit uncertain at first but he found out, like many celebrities before him, that Bono can be very persuasive.”
“No date has been set as yet because David is very busy with his LA Galaxy commitments.”
“There is also the insurance situation to iron out but he is absolutely set on doing it.”
You sold me, The Sun, anonymous source and all. If this happens, though, I have but two simple requests of our celebrities-turned-mountaineers-with-hearts-of-gold, since no celebrity stunt is complete without the “stunt” part.
1) David Beckham must “bend it” like himself from Uhuru Peak into the Ngorongoro Crater, scoring the single greatest penalty-kick goal ever.
2) Bono will sing “One” at the summit in its entirety and without supplemental oxygen, holding that last, highest note for an extra 10 to 15 seconds.
That is all.
— Ted Alvarez