Council leader Joyce makes Olympic rings pledge
Cardiff Council Leader Cllr Heather Joyce has pledged to find a permanent home for the city’s Olympic Rings if the Welsh capital is allowed to keep the structure which currently stands on the lawns in front of City Hall.
As the eyes of the world were on London last night for the amazing closing ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games, Cllr Joyce said Cardiff is ready to grasp the mettle of the legacy of the Games for Wales, starting with ensuring there will be a home for the city’s Olympic Rings if the British Olympic Association allows them to remain.
Cllr Joyce said, “We have been so proud to be a part of the London 2012 Olympics and it was fantastic to be the city where the most successful games for Team GB in Olympic history kicked off with the first football match in the Millennium Stadium on July 25th.
“It has been amazing and humbling to see what has been achieved from these athletes from across the world and of course from some of our home-grown talents such as Geraint Thomas, Jade Jones, Hannah Mills and Fred Evans.
“I think everyone in Britain feels inspired by what has been achieved which is why I think it is so important we have a symbol of that legacy here in Cardiff to encourage the sporting superstars of tomorrow.
“It would be fantastic if we were able to keep the Olympic Rings in Cardiff and provided it is allowed people can rest assured that I will make sure they have a prominent place in our capital city.
“I have been so impressed by what has been achieved in Great Britain over the last two weeks and I have already written to both Lord Coe and Boris Johnson to give my congratulations and I am delighted to say that we have already had a letter from the Government thanking us for our role in making London 2012 such a success.
“I have also been absolutely delighted by what we have done in Cardiff. We ensured the Games got off to a great start and I will be writing to everyone involved in the Council and our partners in the Police, the other emergency services and at the Millennium Stadium to thank them for making our city shine. The Olympic volunteers out on the streets and the way the people and businesses in Cardiff embraced these events once again showed the warm Welsh welcome everyone has come to expect in our city.
"I’d also like to thank the public for bearing with us during the road closures during the Games.
“I think London 2012 will be life changing for many people, not just for those who competed but for all the young people who are now going to be inspired to strive to achieve all they can, which is why I think it is so important that legacy is not forgotten and we have a symbol of that legacy here for everyone to see with the Olympic Rings.”
Cardiff has been the setting for 11 London 2012 Olympic football matches giving the city unprecedented global TV coverage as fans from across the world descended to watch their teams battle it out for Olympic glory in the Millennium Stadium.
A carnival atmosphere was enjoyed across the city centre for the eight days of matches as Cardiff once again showed it is a major destination for massive sporting fixtures, further cementing it’s reputation on the world stage with the Olympic Rings on City Hall lawn a draw for tourists, residents and fans alike.
Cabinet Member for Sport, Leisure and Culture Cllr Huw Thomas added, “It has been an incredibly exciting time to be in Cardiff as a proud host city for these golden Games.
“It is fair to say there has been an electricity in the air whenever a match has been played at the Millennium Stadium and it is important that as an administration we harness that energy and make one of the legacies of these Games a fitter and healthier city.
“We have already shown our commitment to grassroots sport and we will ensure the momentum for the Games is maximised and hopefully in four years time in Rio we will be celebrating even more Welsh and British success in the Olympics and will have the structure of the Olympic Rings in Cardiff to focus those celebrations.”