If you haven’t heard by now (then where have you been?!?!), the entire world will be watching Rio as they host the *BIGGEST* sporting event for the next two weeks, yes that’s right….Olympics 2016. It seems like it was only yesterday that we hosted London 2012 and what a better time now to tell you my experience as a Games Maker.
“The support from our Games Makers has been invaluable in helping us stage such a successful Olympic and Paralympic Games. Their enthusiasm and dedication has been endless and I’m not surprised that the athletes and spectators have recognised just how fantastic they have been.”- Seb Coe (LOCOG)
When I first heard that London will be the Olympics I knew I had to get involved in this special occasion.So waaaaaaay back in 2010 I completed an application form to be a Games Maker. I didn’t mind that it was volunteer work because this was once in a life time! After waiting patiently and having an interview, in 2011 I FINALLY received the email I’d been waiting for:
Following your interview to be a London 2012 Games Maker, we are delighted to inform you that we would like to offer you a role in the Event Services team at the Paralympic Games!
I remembered I was jumping with joy when I read the email, I couldn’t wait to be part of this amazing experience! Before I could become a Games Maker, of course I had to look the part. Going to the distribution centre to collect the famous purple uniform felt like I was shopping in Ikea! I must say I absolutely LOVE the trainers because it’s got ‘London 2012‘ stitched on the side. To this day I still wear these comfortable trainers! When I collected the uniform and my accreditation card, it made it very real.
This was my home for the next two weeks, the Copper Box:
….which hosted Goalball at the Paralympic:
I remembered doing the morning shifts was an absolute killer, waking up at 5:00am to start the morning shift for 6:30am. What’s more, I felt like a muppet wearing the distinctive uniform walking to the tube station. However as soon as I got on the tube, my nerves disappeared as I saw a sea of fellow Games Makers who like me, wore the purple uniform- making our way to the Olympic Park.
Although it was long shifts (sometimes 12 hour shifts), it didn’t matter because it literally flew by! I was having SOOOOOO much fun interacting with the spectators and fellow Games Makers. The whole atmosphere at the Olympic Park was absolutely electric, the spectators was there to have a good time which made my job very easy to do. So moving swiftly onto the jobs which I did:
This was the first ever time I used a mega phone and I bloody loved it! I was telling the spectators to have a good evening, which way to exit the Olympic Park etc- I had a lot of fun with it! Everyone was so friendly and I had a lot of praise from the them, which was really nice!
Doing the head count clicker was fun. However it does involve a lot of concentration especially when was large crowds (see pic above). Other jobs included scanning the tickets, giving spectators directions and supervising the restricted area.
I do have to mention that on my VERY first shift I saw no other then…wait to for it…*PRINCE WILLIAM & KATE*!!!!
I just couldn’t believe what I was seeing, the future King with the stunning Kate walking into the arena!!!! I was literally god smacked! Other royals who came to watch when I was ‘working’ was Prince Harry and Prince Andrew.
Overall I had one of the BEST two weeks, it was an amazing experience which I will never forget. I met some great people such as my team:
The armed forces who kept the Olympic Park safe:
One of the Goalball referee:
It was an honour and a privilege to had been a Games Maker and to had contributed a small part at London 2012. There was definitely a sense of camaraderie within the Games Makers at the Copper Box and I guess it showed to the public. At the end, I was proud to had worn the uniform, I really enjoyed myself…so thank you London 2012.