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LONDON 2012 will receive a warm welcome in the borough after Birmingham Airport’s grand unveiling of their giant Olympic rings.

Two sets of the white internally lit rings, placed either side of the airport’s new air traffic control tower, can be seen by flying visitors and from the nearby road.

Two sets of the white internally lit rings, placed either side of the airport’s new air traffic control tower, can be seen by flying visitors and from the nearby road.

Birmingham Airport chief executive Paul Kehoe joined former Olympics 400metre hurdles winner Ed Moses and paralympic dressage champion and nine-time gold medal winner Lee Pearson CBE to celebrate the unveiling on Monday of this week.

“The Olympic Games are for the entire country, not just London,” said Mr Kehoe.

“The Midlands region will have a big role to play, so we want everyone flying into Birmingham for the occasion to have a special welcome.

“It’s a great honour for the country and we’re proud to say we have a very small part of that.

“After all the doom and gloom, with Pastygate, Charitygate, we deserve something to look forward to.

“By the opening ceremony, I think Olympic fever will have spread across the country.”

The rings unveiling was marked with a firework and light display at the tower while Punjabi group Dance Sansaar and City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra entertained guests.

Mr Pearson, who is hoping for 12 gold medals in 2012, had previously been told that he would never be able to make it into dressage.

“It was like a red rag to a bull,” he said. “You just have to follow your heart.

“The British public are becoming more and more accepting of disabilities, it’s a sport with a humanitarian back-story.

“The most amazing compliment is when you meet kids who say you’re their hero. Even ten years ago, you would never have an able-bodied kid come and tell you that.

“This is going to be the best paralympic games ever and it’s great the Midlands are getting a slice of it.”

Double gold medallist Ed Moses, who had travelled from America to attend the event, added: “As an Olympian you train and dedicate your whole life to what boils down to a couple of minutes.

“Seeing the Games celebrated in such an iconic way will be a great inspiration to the athletes training in the region.”

 

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