Coventry 'cannot keep' Olympic rings

Olympic rings in Coventry Mr Mutton said he was keen for something else to take the rings' place

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Council leaders in Coventry have revealed that Olympic organisers turned down their request to be allowed to keep the city's Olympic rings.

City council leader John Mutton said the authority had wanted to keep the rings on the Rowleys Green roundabout, outside the Ricoh Arena, as a memento.

He said the request was turned down by Games organiser Locog.

The British Olympic Association (BOA) said it was discussing the future of Olympic rings placed around the UK.

The stadium, rebranded as the City of Coventry Stadium for the London 2012 Games, hosted 12 football matches.

Locog said that after the Games, the responsibility for the rings would fall to the British Olympic Association (BOA).

'Very sad'

A BOA spokesman said: "The BOA is in discussions with the International Olympic Committee regarding the future of the physical manifestations of the Olympic rings placed around the UK during the London 2012 Games."

But Mr Mutton said he was "very sad" to hear the rings were being removed from the site, on the A444, on Friday.

He said: "I appealed to Locog [London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games] to see if we could keep them.

"They said that not only could we not keep them - they had to be destroyed and photographic evidence had to be supplied to prove they'd been destroyed. It just seems like such a waste."

Mr Mutton said they had wanted to keep the rings as a permanent record of the city's "pride in the part it played in the Olympics".

He added: "I'd been tempted to get some cardboard rings made up instead and send them photos of those being destroyed instead so we could keep them after all, but I don't think I could've got away with it."

Mr Mutton said he was keen for something else to take the rings' place to mark Coventry's role as an Olympics host city and wanted to hear people's ideas.

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