Glasgow Unveils New Giant Olympic Rings Sculpture

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Scotland has unveiled a set of giant Olympic rings as it prepares for its role in the 2012 Games.

The three-tonne structure went up in George Square in Glasgow this morning - just over a week before the Olympic torch comes to Scotland.

Giant sets of Olympic rings are being installed at sites across the UK as a backdrop to the Games - and at 16ft high and 33ft long, the set being used in Glasgow is the biggest.

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George Square, Glasgow

The city was given a £270,000 grant by the Government Olympic Executive (GOE) to prepare for hosting football events.
Eight Olympic football matches will be held at Hampden Park in July and August.

The money, earmarked for helping Glasgow spruce up for its role as host, has also been spent on more than 20,000 feet of bunting and almost 700 banners and flags.

The Olympic rings were unveiled this morning by school pupils and Glasgow City Council leader Gordon Matheson.

He said: "It is an historic day for Glasgow to be unveiling not just the first set of Olympic rings in Scotland, but also the largest stainless steel rings in the UK, which will act as a spectacular and iconic welcome to the city for visitors and Games spectators alike.

"Glasgow's Olympic countdown is really gathering momentum with the arrival of the torch next week and less than 60 days until our first football match at Hampden kicks off.

"I am delighted that we are able to bring the symbol of the Olympic Games into the heart of Glasgow to build on the anticipation and excitement of what is going to be an incredible summer, not just for London but for the whole country.

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Primary school children from Glasgow celebrate the new public landmark

"Glasgow is internationally renowned as one of the top 10 sporting cities in the world and this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be a part of the greatest sporting show on earth.

"As a city we're incredibly proud of, and very much looking forward to, the role that we'll play in the Games."

Children from primary schools in the city waved flags representing the 10 nations competing in the Olympic football tournament at Hampden as the rings were unveiled.

Sir Craig Reedie, representative of the International Olympic Committee and the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, was also present.

Sir Craig, former chairman of the British Olympic Association, said: "We always said when we were bidding for the Games that these were Games for the whole country, it's everybody's 2012, so it's just terrific that Glasgow is going to be dressed as an Olympic city.

"To put Olympic rings like those in the middle of George Square in the middle of the city is a terrific gesture."