Monday, 17 December 2012

Blast from the Past: The London 2012 Games.... part 1.

The London 2012 Games.... part 1.

December: it’s cold and gloomy outside. It seems a long time since the sunshine and excitement of the London 2012 Games, doesn't it? Well, the legacy’s certainly not over- lots of people who enjoyed volunteering then have kept it up.

Regular blog readers might already know Sara, who’s an enthusiastic volunteer and received the KUSU Volunteering's ‘Best Newcomer’award last year. Well, over the summer she volunteered as a Games Maker with the 2012 Games. Her report’s so exciting we couldn’t ask her to cut it down to just one blog post, so it will appear in three parts over the coming weeks...

Sara with the Olympic Torch
London 2012 – My Olympic Games- Sara Ann Hope Part 1

I don’t know whether any of you noticed some stuff that went down in London over the summer, you know, a little something called THE OLYMPICS!
I jest of course. You can’t have been in the country over those months without being bombarded with Olympic fever. For most people, this was a once in a lifetime opportunity that they’ll tell their kids about for years to come.
And where was I you ask? Well… I was there!
I was chosen along with seventy thousand other volunteers to be part of the Games Maker team, helping to make London 2012 happen. You may have seen us running around in our very stylish purple shirts, (made from recycled plastic bottles in case you didn’t know.)
I was a Data Loggist based at Horse Guard’s Parade and The Mall (right in the centre of things, near Buckingham Palace) for the full two weeks of the games, and here’s a bit of what I got up to…

Saturday July 28th, Shift 1: 3pm – 1am
17.45pm – First shift going well. I have “wisely” been left in charge of both venue logs, since the previous Loggist went off shift just after five.
Cavendish abysmal in the road cycling and the female fencers didn’t even make the semi’s! On the upside the rowers were both quite successful... and attractive.
Not quite sure what my job here actually is… is this bad?

01.00am – First shift over. Tired but happy, going home on the tube. Still not sure what my job is but I seemed to do it quite well so I’m counting that as a win. Spent a lot of time staring blankly at the monitors as people refused to do anything unsafe for me to write down… so selfish!

Sunday July 29th, Shift 2: 3pm – 1am
16.00 pm – Marginally more successful start to today, as I now know what my job actually is… I think. Also, I brought both a book and a phone today so I plan to spend the frequent hours when everything is running smoothly reading about feminism and playing angry birds.

20.00pm – It’s apparently a good thing that I have nothing to write down – means the venue is operating at peak performance. So much so in fact, I just got to go into the stadium and watch some Beach Volleyball! It was possibly the weirdest sporting event I’ve ever seen. The crowd did a giant Mexican wave and formed a conga. Every so often people jumped onto the sand and we all had to dance the Macarena. MAD! I loved it though, made me feel very patriotic… despite the fact that I’m British and the match I was watching was Netherlands vs Spain.
Beach Volleyball in action

Went back to the venue control centre to find a lot of cake lying around for us to eat. I do enjoy the night shift.

02.00am – So tired! Walked home past the Ritz hotel today and the doorman waved at me. It’s amazing how friendly everyone is when they see you in uniform – a man yesterday with a brilliant moustache stopped me in TESCO and commended me on doing a fantastic job. It’s made London a much happier place to live!

Also, TEAM GB’s FIRST MEDAL WAS WON AT MY VENUE!!! Alright, so it wasn’t me who won it but I’m smiling like it was…  the atmosphere’s pretty electric here at Venue Control.

Tuesday July 31st, Shift 3 – 5.30am – 3.30pm
10.00am – Not off to best start as I missed the last night bus and didn’t make it in until 6am. Didn’t actually matter in the end as the office I work in doesn’t open until half past and they only wanted me in this early to give me breakfast… No, I’m not quite sure why that’s necessary either, but it was lush so I don’t think I have a right to complain.

Talked to two people today – very enthusiastic lady at the bus stop, and a nice old chap on the tube (also a GM.) If we succeed at nothing else with these games they’ve certainly got London talking!

Wednesday August 1st, Shift 4 – 3pm – 1am
 GB medals still pouring in, brilliant! Also met the third Loggist, called Dick, today. Lovely man – very organised.

Venue control filled with sweets again. Is it obvious the games are sponsored by Cadbury’s? Though to be fair if I get fed another Nature Valley bar by catering I may scream.
We’re out of the volleyball by now and it’s a little disheartening being surrounded by about fifteen screens all showing your team losing. The CCTV does sometimes come in handy though – last night I saw three men dressed as dinosaurs coming out of the venue. And tonight one drunk guy tried to put his coat on and accidentally punched his mate in the face. It’s the little things that make the job worthwhile!


The next installment of Sara's Olympic Diary will be out at the same time next week!

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