The rings, which measure 9.4m wide and 4.6m high, have been placed at the entrance to the tunnel in Coquelles, near Calais in northern France, and will be seen by hundreds of thousands of fans as they travel from Europe to next year’s Olympic Games in London.
Sebastian Coe, Chairman of LOCOG, 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 rings 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 160km/h.
The Rings were officially unveiled at a special event to mark 20/12 Day, where former Olympic champion Jonathan Edwards was joined by athletes Kelly Sotherton and Lawrence Okoye. The event also saw children from the London 2012 Children’s Promise Scheme – all of whom were born in the UK on 20 December 2004 – celebrating their seventh birthdays’ with a cake delivered by 2012 mascot Wenlock.