Oprah Winfrey, the most powerful woman in television, some say the world, arrived in Australia last week and began shooting episodes of her show in Sydney yesterday.
Ahead of her arrival, The Olympic rings have sat for the last 10 years, piled on their side gathering rust and dust on Goulburn land owned by the company that constructed them, Kermac Welding and Engineering.
And, unless something changes soon, despite being one of the most visible, iconic and memorable signs of the Games, that will be their final resting place.
Kermac managing director/owner Don Earle remains anxious about finding a fitting home for the Olympic Rings, but said that time is running out and admits to being doubtful about their future.
“People have made a lot of suggestions over the years about possible uses for the rings,” he said.
“That’s included erecting them at Homebush, or locally placing them below Rocky Hill or at the Southern approach to town.
“We’ve had contact from a lot of organisations over the years but there the rings still sit. There were a lot of good intentions, and there was going to be a fund-raiser organised. A journalist called Bruce McDonald tried to get that going but it didn’t eventuate into anything.”
The biggest problem facing the rings is time. With each day, without proper ongoing care, they will deteriorate until there is no option but to use them for scrap.
“There will come a point where the deterioration is irreversible,” Mr Earle said.
“So if anything can be done, it should be done soon. They are such iconic things and so significant in the celebrations of the Sydney Olympics that I believe they should be preserved as part of our history. At the very least, they shouldn’t be allowed to decay this way.”
Mr Earle also said he was happy to donate the rings to any individual, group or organisation that had a bona fide use for the rings, but would require that Kermac retained the job of erecting and installing them and remained
involved throughout the process.