A giant set of Olympic Rings has today been unveiled on the entrance to Channel Tunnel in France to celebrate 20/12 Day.
The Rings have been placed at the entrance of the Tunnel in Coquelles near Calais in northern France, which will be one of the main gateways from Europe to the London 2012 Games.
The Rings will be seen by hundreds of thousands of fans who are travelling from Europe on Eurostar trains to St Pancras International and who will be able to take the Javelin® train to the Olympic Park during the Games.
The Javelin® service will take ‘25,000 visitors per hour and take just seven minutes’.
The manufacturing and placement of the Rings has been privately financed by Eurotunnel, who have worked closely with the Comité National Olympique et Sportif Français (the French National Olympic Comittee).
The Rings, which measure 9.4m wide and 4.6m high, were built in Lille and transported in segments to the Channel Tunnel entrance near Calais.
They were assembled and installed in situ over two nights by a team of five rock climbers.
Each ring is fixed to the wall with ten anchor points to hold it in place against the aerodynamic effect generated by trains entering the tunnels at up to 160kmh.
The Olympic Rings are one of the world’s most recognisable symbols. The five Rings – coloured blue, yellow, black, green and red – express the activity of the Olympic Movement and represent the union of the five continents and the meeting of athletes from throughout the world at the Olympic Games.
Seb Coe, LOCOG Chair, said:
“The Olympic Rings are an iconic symbol, inspiring athletes and uniting people around the world. To athletes they represent the culmination of thousands of hours of training and reaching the highest level in sport.
“To visitors travelling from Europe they will excite and inspire them about the Olympic Games taking place in London, and demonstrate that we are ready to welcome the world in 2012.”
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said:
“As the starting line for 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games fast approaches we want to say loud and clear to all our European neighbours that London is the only place to be next summer.
“Whether you’re heading to the Olympic Park to watch some amazing sport, soaking up the best cultural events the city has to offer or coming to revel in the atmosphere at our Live Sites there is something for everyone to enjoy.”