By Tom Degun

Olympic rings_eurostarDecember 20 - A giant set of Olympic Rings have 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 were revealed by Olympic triple jump champion and world record holder Jonathan Edwards at a special event at John Lewis Stratford City, which is adjacent to the Olympic Park, to mark 20/12 Day.

Edwards was joined by heptathlon Olympic bronze medallist Kelly Sotherton and British record holder in the men's discus Lawrence Okoye at the event in Stratford where the trio introduced a film of the making of the Rings to athletes and children from the London 2012 Children's Promise Scheme.

The Rings will be seen by hundreds of thousands of fans who are travelling from Europe on Eurostar trains to St Pancras International - where they will be welcomed by another set of Rings - and who will be able to take the Javelin train to the Olympic Park during the Games.

St Pancras_with_Olympic_rings_and_clock
The Javelin service will take 25,000 visitors per hour and take just seven minutes.

"The Olympic Rings are an iconic symbol, inspiring athletes and uniting people around the world," said London 2012 chairman Sebastian Coe.

"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 manufacturing and placement of the Rings has been privately financed by Eurotunnel, who have worked closely with the French National Olympic Committee.

Eurostar tunnel_with_Olympic_rings
The Rings, which measure 9.4 metres wide and 4.6 metres 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 160 kilometres per hour.

"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," said Mayor of London Boris Johnson.

"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."

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. 

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