A COMPANY has given Comet country a headstart in the race to the 2012 Olympics.

A set of Olympic rings made at Brilliant Stages in Hillgate, Hitchin, became the first symbol of the games to be unveiled in London on Thursday.

The structure, which marks the first step in using the Olympic symbol on iconic landmarks, was unveiled by chairman of the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games Sebastian Coe and London mayor Boris Johnson, at a special event at St Pancras International station.

The aluminium rings were built in secret over the course of six weeks by a team of 25 people at the company.

Measuring 20 metres wide by nine metres high and weighing 2,300 kilograms, the rings were transported by lorry from the site in 39 separate parts to the station, where they were secretly assembled and installed over seven nights.

It’s not the company’s first big production, as they have previously worked with music icons including the Rolling Stones, Iron Maiden and Elton John.

The rings are now suspended from the roof at the station, where they will remain until the games are over.

“The rings will be a powerful symbol for millions of visitors using the iconic station that the capital is poised and ready to welcome the world’s greatest sporting stars and put on the best show on earth,” said Mr Johnson.

“Unveilng the first set of Olympic rings provides a glimpse into how the capital is gearing up.”

The event featured a number of performances to mark the occasion, including a Parkour display by Jump London, a recital by a choir and an acoustic set by McFly.