Indigo Dreaming

The journeys of the Narrowboat Indigo Dream

  • Blog Index as a pull down

  • Recent Posts

  • Meta

  • Recent Comments

  • wordpress counter

Odds Blog: Richard’s Gamesmaker Shift No. 8 – the last shift :-(

Posted by indigodream on 16 August, 2012

Rewind to Thursday 9th August 2012
I am writing this a week late. I am still delighted to have been a Gamesmaker – I am finding it hard to come down.

Yes, I was fortunate that I was within the massive Events Services Team and, unlike Sue, I had something to do, was well looked after, well trained and well motivated.  I also enjoyed the role so much because the Athletes and the Public were fantastic – we just oiled the wheels a little. The Athletes are out there trying to their very best, they are not footballers worrying about the colour of their next Ferrari, they are incredibly hard working and very dedicated people. The Public come in, they are determined to have a good time, they give Athletes of all nationalities fantastic support, the Athletes respond with some amazing performances, the Public get excited cheering them on and so the day just gets better and better. More on that later.

Thursday’s start time was cruel, we had to check in at 5:45am. I was lucky having a boat to stay on,  a first train from Limehouse at 5:14am and a specially running DLR service which got me to the stadium 5 minutes early (2 shots of Kazaar, strength 12, this morning). Other Gamesmakers had to catch 3 night buses so heaven knows when they got up! Those coming from the camp site in Wanstead seemed to have had a tough journey. Our briefings were full of yawning people but were fortunately very concise – everybody knew the form by now, athletics were due to start an hour early at 9am and we had to get gates open by 7:30am.

My early check-in meant that I got assigned to ticket checking on bridge “B” – great, I liked that role. The day before I had got a little wound up by a ticketing/customer service issue. I had raised it with my team leader but took the opportunity to also briefly raise it between briefings with my area manager. We had a very quick chat but he had another briefing to give, I had to rush off to my team briefing so we did not have a satisfactory conversation. Gus said he would find me so we could finish the conversation, I thought “yeah right”, especially as I know he had to be elsewhere, but fair play he came and we had a good discussion.  There is very good management in the Stadium.

Bridge “B” was significantly busier today, the combination of an early start and a shorter period between gates opening and athletics starting meant that people seemed to come in at twice the rate that they had on Tuesday. For at least 45 minutes a queue of 2 – 8 people in front of you in each lane was the norm, so a bit less time to chat with people, less time to notice the outrageous earrings or fantastic face paint, but still plenty of time to notice eager, happy faces coming towards you and plenty of time to worship those who got last minute tickets.

My first break coincided with the Women’s High Jump heats, I knew where there would be an empty seat so off I went! The girls are all seriously tall, like all athletes they have fantastic posture and presence. When I have seen these girls (who I don’t recognise other then being able to quickly read their accreditation) I am sure I stand taller, as they all give the impression that they are taller than me, yet  I am over 6′ 4″.  I think they are generally around 6′ 2″, they manage to jump over a bar which is set above their heads. Look up and think about it.

Now here was a great example of crowd support. The last few jumpers were trying to qualify, they were down to their last attempt and the Commentator spotted that an athlete, I think from the Russian Federation, was looking a bit dejected. He pointed her out to the crowd and unbidden the crowd started a very slow and very controlled hand clap. As she started her run up they tried to keep pace but then basically went berserk clapping. This girl cleared the bar, from my angle she looked like she cleared it easily, I think she achieved a personal best but more importantly she got into the finals. She was so emotional afterwards, waving and blowing kisses to the crowd. The crowd supported her as an Athlete, I am certain they made the difference, she was certain they made the difference.

The difference was even more noticeable when the Men’s 4×400 relay was on. Ok, Team GB was competing so you would expect the noise level to be unbelievable. Baton changes were not smooth, but there was so much clapping and cheering which built and built. I think the guy that ran the third leg was called Jack Green (no idea who he is, sadly I don’t know enough about athletics),  he ran a scintillating leg, the crowd saw him reeling in his opponents and the noise level just grew and grew, I am sure he knew it was for him. I cannot describe the atmosphere in the stadium, I wish I could bottle it,  the guy ran fantastically and must have gained at least 20m on his opponents. I know that the individual 400m final was won by a Grenedan teenager running just under 44 seconds, I suspect Jack Green’s time in the relay backed by the crowd was not far off that. Amidst the euphoria there was also heart ache as the South Africans dropped out, I did not see what happened but I think it was a baton change problem, one of their guys looked inconsolable.

I have been honoured to have been a volunteer at the Olympics. Professionally the Olympics has been very good for us, we have done some fantastic work on and under the park though contractually there is little I can say about it. What will I remember when I am sitting on the back of a boat in 30 years time? I will remember my time as a volunteer, the fantastic atmosphere and those eager, smiley faces.

Ah but we still had the Closing Ceremony to come – we had tickets !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

2 Responses to “Odds Blog: Richard’s Gamesmaker Shift No. 8 – the last shift :-(”

  1. Adam said

    Jack Green had also had a tough time in his main event, the 400m hurdles, when he crashed out, so I guess the crowd would have known that too and responded accordingly.

    Really enjoyed reading about your Olympic experiences. We’re formulating plans for a year’s time to explore the Olympic waterways…

  2. indigodream said

    Ah so it was Jack Green, thank you. I heard the name when they introduced the team but then afterwards was not sure if I remembered correctly. He did have a stunningly good run

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.