Save The Rings!

It lit up Sydney when the city was at it’s brightest – the 2000 Olympics. For over 14 years, the iconic ‘Olympic Rings’ Bridge Effect, which was switched off in the most dramatic fashion during the Closing Night Harbour Spectacular (see video), has been sitting in a shed nearly 200 kilometres south of Sydney in Goulburn and now it is for auction on eBay for $10,000 minimum – but would this iconic and historic piece of lighting be preserved?

Over the years, there have been proposals to permanently place it in Goulburn as a tourist attraction along the town’s bypass whilst some have also proposed it to be locate at Sydney Olympic Park but none of these have happened. It is apparently in good structural condition but the ropelight no longer works – an upgrade of the ropelight could see it become LED with colours – something the Bridge Effect did not have in 2000 (it was just plain yellow back then). The Bridge Effect could also be programmed to form different patterns and sequences or made interactive too.


It still has potential but with little time left, it is highly likely the ‘Olympic Rings’ Bridge Effect might disappear forever again…for real this time unless someone buys it with intent to preserve it. It has heaps of sporting, cultural, historical and engineering significance and is something the public could enjoy to see for decades. It was switched on for the first time on September 14 2000 when the Olympic Torch Relay arrived at the Sydney Opera House and the Olympic Flame was exchanged between the torches of Pat Rafter and Olivia-Newton John. It then stay lit until  October 1 2000 when it featured in the world record breaking finale of the Closing Night Harbour Spectacular which saw the Olympic Rings ‘explode’ into the night sky. A year later, a section of the ‘Olympic Rings’ Bridge Effect appeared in a local Goulburn parade and has not been seen in use since.

Only 1 Bridge Effect has been placed permanently for the public to view – ‘Fanfare‘ (or colloquially known as the ‘disco ball’) from Sydney NYE2004 – ‘Reflections On Australiana’ is currently being installed in Christchurch, New Zealand as part of a SCAPE Public Art project after being donated by the City Of Sydney. The designer of that Bridge Effect, Neil Dawson, is from Christchurch.

Given the significance of the ‘Olympic Rings’ Bridge Effect and the fact that it is still intact (very rare), it deserves a permanent home so we have set up below a petition to hopefully ensure the ‘Olympic Rings’ Bridge Effect’s survival. Share it on social media – there is very little time!

The description on eBay reads ‘The Rings are massive, in good condition and under cover they could be used for igloo type buildings. Located in Goulburn NSW. Transport can be arranged’.  Bidding closes at 10:18pm AEST 13 May 2015. Hopefully the ‘Olympic Rings’ Bridge Effect has a bright future…


Sign our petition as a way to show your support:

‘Olympics Rings’ Bridge Effect Fast Facts

  • Each ring consists of 4 or 5 separate sections
  • 7 semi-trailers are required to transport it (Each semi-trailer holding 3 sections)
  • 1st time 40 tonnes of metal structure was hung off the Sydney Harbour Bridge
  • 8.5 kilometres of iridescent ropelight
  • Face of each ring is 2.1 metres in width/1.8 metres deep
  • Each ring contains 20 ropelight strands
  • 300,000 globes in the ropelight overall
  • Ring diameter is 25 metres
  • Spans 78 metres
  • Powered by 200 amp power supply
  • Designed and built by Kermac Welding and Engineering
  • Lit /electrified by The Wilken Group
  • Lit on the Sydney Harbour Bridge between 14 September and 1 October 2000 for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games