Birmingham Airport, located close to the city of Birmingham in England, is displaying the Olympic Rings on its Air Traffic Control Tower in celebration of the London 2012 Games.
The airport is the first in the UK to display the Olympic symbol on its premises. The unveiling of the rings was accompanied by an evening of performances from a string quartet from the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and London 2012 Cultural Olympiad project, Dance Sansaar, a local Punjabi folk arts group.
The airport has also installed special decor, which includes displayed pictograms representing the Olympic and Paralympic sports.
Two sets of Olympic Rings are located to either side of the Air Traffic Control Tower, and are visible to all visitors flying in, as well as being visible from the adjacent main road that runs between Coventry and Birmingham.
Paul Kehoe, the airport chief executive officer, said, ‘The Olympic Games are for the entire country, not just London. Every visitor, passengers and passer-by will see our welcome spectacular, and we’re really proud to be part of such a historic occasion.
Both the Jamaican and US Olympic Track and Field teams are training in Birmingham prior to the Games, and the neighbouring city of Coventry will host several football matches.
The Midlands region will have a big role to play during the Olympic and Paralympic Games so we want everyone flying into Birmingham for the occasion, whether they’re athletes, spectators, officials or member of the world’s media, to have a special welcome.’
There will be 8,000 torchbearers, taking a 70-day journey that will come within ten miles of 95 per cent of Brits.
The tour will begin at Lands End on May 19 and continue on to the Olympic Stadium where it will arrive on July 27.
Every street it passes though will be plotted on an interactive map.
However it has been highlighted that 80 per cent of the flame’s tour will take place in a high security van, each torch bearer will take it just 300m on foot.
The bearers will be dressed in white and gold tracksuits designed by Adidas, sponsors of the games, which have been compared to pyjamas.
The outfits are supposed to ‘accent the energy of the Olympic flame’, however when revealed yesterday the 100 per cent polyester outfits have been called a fashion failure.
But Mayor of London Boris Johnson said he ‘thoroughly approved’ of the gold tracksuits.
They are beautiful outfits. They are lovely. They are elegant but not too austere,’ he said.
It is hoped that Stella McCartney’s design for the British tea will bring more style to the games.
Yesterday saw 7,300 people named as torchbearers after being nominated as unsung heroes of their communities.
The remaining 700 are likely to be celebrities and will be named later in the spring.
Holiday Inn launch the first ‘augmented reality hotel’
Holiday Inn bosses are hoping to excite guests over the summers Olympics, with various visuals including Nick Dempsey ‘windsurfing’ with a bed sheet in your hotel room.
The budget hotel chain have used the latest cutting-edge technology to create the worlds first ‘augmented reality hotel’. This allows virtual versions of Britain’s top athletes to be brought to life.
Yesterday guests at the Holiday Inn London Kensington Forum were able to see athletes in virtual action with the use of either their smartphone or tablet. Athletes appear around the hotel including locations such as the reception, corridors and bedrooms.
For the athletes to appear on the screen, guests must point their devices at specific sites around the hotel.
In the lobby BMX World Champion Shanaze Reader can be seen performing tricks, whereas the world’s number one Paralympic table tennis player Will Bayley can be seen hitting table tennis balls behind reception.
Jumping in the corridor is the UK’s long-jump record holder Chris Tomlinson, meanwhile in the hotel’s bedrooms Nick Dempsey – the leading windsurfer – surfs with the bed sheet.
Not only will guests be able to experience the stars in virtual motion, they will also be able to have their photo taken with all four of the athlete ‘auras’ in the hotel.
Nick Dempsey said: “Being able to pick up your phone and see athletes appear as if they were right in front of you in unbelievable and a great way to get people excited about the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games”.
The virtual stars can be seen in the hotel for the next two weeks.
Article by Charlotte Greenhalgh