France gets in Olympic mood with tunnel rings
LONDON - Reuters
The Olympic rings are seen displayed at the entrance to the Channel Tunnel in Coquelles, near Calais in France. The Rings measure 9.4 m wide and 4.6 m high. REUTERS photoLondon famously beat Paris in the vote to stage the 2012 Olympics but any hard feelings seem to have vanished with the French agreeing to install a set of giant Olympic rings at the entrance to the Channel Tunnel near Calais.
Thousands of sports fans from Europe are expected to flood into Britain using the high-speed link and the last thing they see as they go underground will be the set of Olympic rings, which was officially unveiled yesterday to mark 20/12 Day.
The inter-linked blue, yellow, black, green and red rings, 9.4 meters high and 4.6 meters wide, are located at the entrance to the tunnel in Coquelles and were privately financed by Eurotunnel who worked closely on the project with France’s national Olympic committee.
After the rings were made in Lille they were assembled on site by five rock climbers over two nights.
Triple jump world record holder Jonathan Edwards was a part of the opening ceremony yesterday.
“For visitors travelling from Europe (the rings) will inspire and excite them about the Olympics taking place in London and demonstrate that we are ready to welcome the world in 2012,” London organizing committee (LOCOG) chief Sebastian Coe said in statement.
Paris was favorite to win the vote to stage the Games when the IOC voted on it in Singapore in 2005 but London pulled off a shock victory and will stage the Olympics for the first time since 1948 next year.