By Chris Smith 24/04 Updated: 27/04 10:17
THE Olympic rings lit up the sky around Birmingham Airport on Monday as the region hosted the London 2012 Games first event.
The two sets of rings have been placed on either side of the airport’s new air traffic control tower.
And they were switched by Olympic and Paralympic gold medallists Edwin Moses and Lee Pearson ahead of the men's football qualifier between Senegal and Oman at the Ricoh Arena.
A series of London 2012 branding was also unveiled in and around the airport including displays of pictograms representing the Olympic and Paralympic sports, and the Games' motto Inspire a Generation.
The city will play host to the American and Jamaican teams while thounsands of people are expected to arrive here to watch men's and women's games at the Ricoh.
Airport boss Paul Kehoe said: "The Olympic Games are for the entire country, not just London.
"Every visitor, passengers and passerby 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."
SENEGAL are set to return to the Ricoh for one of their group games in the men's Olympic football tournament.
They will take on the UAE in one of ten games provisionally earmarked to the city following the draw earlier today.
The others games earmarked for Coventry are:
Belarus v New Zealand
Mexico v Gabon
Korea v Switzerland
Japan v Honduras
Sweden v South Africa
Japan v Sweden
Japan v Canada
Canada v South Africa
New Zealand v Cameroon
The dates have yet to confirmed with a women's quarter final and a bronze medal match also confirmed for the Ricoh.
The GB men's team have been drawn against Senegal, Uruguay and UAE while the nation's women will face New Zealand, Cameroon and Brazil.
Tickets for matches at the Ricoh are available online at www.london2012.com.
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