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Richmond Park rings give Olympic athletes grand welcome

Welcome: The rings stretch 300 metres

Welcome: The rings stretch 300 metres

First published in News by

This is the view Olympic athletes from around the world will have from the window of their plane as they fly over Richmond Park this summer.

Six of the Royal Parks’ shire horses mowed the largest official Olympic rings – which are 300m wide and 135m tall – into the grass at the nature reserve.

International athletes and visitors will be welcomed by the spectacular view before they land at Heathrow.

Two of the horses, Jim and Murdoch, who regularly cut roadside verges in the park, will maintain the iconic image by trimming it throughout the summer.

Adam Curtis, assistant manager of Richmond Park, said: “I am so proud we‘ve been able to achieve such an effective representation of the Olympic symbol.

“Jim and Murdoch can manoeuvre the mower around tight corners and regularly cut the grass here at Richmond Park - they are our secret weapon because they maintain the park without damaging the unique grassland and wildlife.”

Seb Coe, chairman of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, 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. These rings will excite and inspire visitors coming to London.”

Shire horses have maintained the park for many years as they are the best tool for rolling bracken and are useful during the winter when the ground is soft.

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