Birmingham’s Bolt from the bloom

Bolt from the BloomA magnificent full size wicker figure in honour of the world’s fastest man, Usain Bolt, is to be the centre of a magnificent floral display in Birmingham’s Victoria Square.

The figure, which has been made by Birmingham City Council’s award winning Chelsea Flower Show parks team, will show the athlete’s famous victory ‘Bolt pose’ and will be a celebration of the Jamaican track and field teams training camps being based in Birmingham ahead of the London 2012 Olympic Games.

The figure took three weeks to complete, starting with a skeleton structure made from wire and steel. Willow is then weaved around the frame to create the body, the final addition was a floral Jamaican flag draped over the back of the figure. The figure will be the centre of a floral display that will recreate an Olympic medal winners podium in the colours of the Jamaican flag.

The figure was the creation of Birmingham City Council park manager Lee Southall and colleague Stuart Unwin whose creations have complemented many award winning floral displays designed by Birmingham Parks gardeners.

The figure of Usain Bolt will be one of ten similar floral installations in Birmingham city centre that will celebrate the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics. Another figure will be that of Birmingham’s Jordanne Whiley, Great Britain’s number one ladies wheelchair tennis player who will be participating in the Paralympics. Lee Southall and Stuart Unwin have been working since January of this year to create the figures which will also include gymnasts, fencers, a female weightlifter and a Paralympics runner.

The Chelsea Gold Award winning display ‘Best of Birmingham’ which features a Mini car, Birmingham Town Hall, The Bullring bull, Canal barge and iconic Selfridges, will be on show in Centenary Square and the Bullring.

Birmingham is playing a key role in the London 2012 Olympics by hosting both the Jamaican and USA track and field teams ahead of the games. The city will also be welcoming the Olympic Torch with a diverse array of arts and entertainments as it passes through the city on 30 June and 1 July.

Sharon Lea, Strategic Director, Environment and Culture at Birmingham City Council said: “There will be a huge focus on the Olympic training camps in Birmingham and I am delighted that our Chelsea Gold winning Parks Gardeners are celebrating the city’s involvement in the London 2012 Olympics with these unique floral creations.”

For further details of all the major activities taking place in the city for the London 2012 Olympics, please visit.birmingham2012.co.uk

ENDS

Images can be downloaded here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/birminghamnewsroom/sets/72157630193654680/

Media Contact: jason_lewis@birmingham.gov.uk or 0121 303 4266

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