Bryshon Nellum to carry U.S. flag in Olympics closing ceremony

Bryshon Nellum, who was shot in the legs four years ago and endured three operations to return to the track, was selected to carry the United States flag in Sunday’s closing ceremony of the London Olympics.

Nellum, 23, was chosen by a vote of U.S. athletes, according to the U.S. Olympic Committee.

“I’m humbled by this incredible privilege,” Nellum said in a statement. “Four years ago, I wasn’t sure I would ever run again, and now I’m leading Team USA into the closing ceremony of the Olympic Games.

PHOTOS: London Olympics, Day 14

“I’m so grateful for the incredible support of my friends and family and I’ll never forget these Games.”

Nellum, recruited to USC from Long Beach Poly, was shot while accompanying a Trojans recruit to an off-campus party. The recruit decided not to attend USC.

—Bill Shaikin

Cashing in

The U.S. women’s soccer team made no secret of the fact that Thursday’s gold-medal showdown with Japan was a grudge match since Japan beat the Americans in penalty kicks in last summer’s World Cup final.

And, after their 2-1 win before a crowd of more than 80,000 at Wembley Stadium, the women learned that payback can make you rich.

That’s because each U.S. athlete who wins a gold medal in the London Games gets a cash reward of $25,000 from the United States Olympic Committee.

In addition, U.S. Soccer is giving the team an additional $1.5 million to divide any way the players want.

Speaking of rewards, the team also heard from President Obama, who went on Twitter to give his reaction to the game shortly after it finished.

“Congrats to the U.S. women’s soccer team,” he tweeted “for a third straight Olympic gold. So proud. –bo”

—Kevin Baxter

Becks watch

David Beckham, the world’s commuting global icon, materialized at the Olympic Games’ BMX venue with his sons Friday.

He is everywhere, always, it seems.

(Hey, the London Olympics trump those run-of-the-mill Galaxy training sessions at Home Depot Center in Carson.)

He showed up at the beach volleyball venue to watch the all-American women’s final on Wednesday night, which was won by Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings.

There should be a Beckham Alert at every venue.

Beware to any athletes sitting within camera range of Beckham. Prepare to be photographed and become immediately tabloidized.

That’s what happened to British cyclists Laura Trott and Jason Kenny. They were sitting one row behind Beckham at beach volleyball and had an affectionate moment.

Hello, tabloid roadkill.

Kidding aside, the cameras and Beckham have a nice arrangement going in London, one of those relationships that keeps on giving.

—Lisa Dillman

Going forward

Lashinda Demus cried before her 400-meter hurdles final Wednesday, overwhelmed by the pressure she had put on herself to reward her friends and family with a gold-medal performance.

The Palmdale resident and Long Beach Wilson High graduate cried even harder after her late charge left her a half-stride behind winner Natalya Antyukh of Russia. She vowed to return in 2016 to go for the gold.

Later, she went to her Twitter account to share her disappointment with her followers. “I feel like I let you guys down,” said Demus, the American record holder in her event.

But her 5-year-old twin sons might have had the best perspective on what was — and is — a remarkable achievement.

“My kids didn’t believe me when I told them I lost lol,” she said on Twitter. “They corrected and said, ‘no you didn’t mommy’ So I will live to fight another Olympics.”

—Helene Elliott