‘I Made London 2012!’

Adrian in Character

Adrian in Character as a Working Man in Pandemonium

 

GUEST POST:  ADRIAN MILNER

*     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *
 

1. What was your Olympic Volunteer Role and where?

I was a working man from the Victorian times. The Opening Ceremony in “Pandemonium“.

2. When did you volunteer?

I volunteered for 150 hours over 24 days starting at the beginning of May 2012 – mostly in the pouring rain. 1st at 3 Mills Studios – then at the old Ford Motor Factory in Dagenham and finally from June in the Olympic Stadium.

3. Describe your uniform

Distressed – grey corduroy trousers up to my nipples with belt – grey corduroy cloth cap – shirt covered in oil – cravat – black leather gloves – ripped black jacket – black steel toe capped boots and a sooty face. I was a working man from the Victorian times!

4. What did you do?

It varied – but all Working Men and Women in the Pandemonium sequence had to learn how to dismantle the “Green & Pleasant Land” set of the opening sequence. We needed to learn how to move fences – hedges – flowers – crops – and turf, LOTS of turf.

1200 of us were divided into counties from A-J. I was assigned Fife and we were located by the huge water wheel – in front of the press tribunes – near the mosh pit and the great bell (we called it the bell end – phnarr phnarr)!

We also had to learn choreography dreamed up by Toby Sedgewick the man behind all the choreography in War Horse. These moves were code-named: shovel pickaxe – sliding door – shut the boot – lever handles – chisel hammer. These had to be learnt and were quite elaborate – all had to be put together in a chain. We used this choreography during “Convergence” – when the Olympic rings were coming together.

5. What was your highlight?

Meeting so many wonderful people from London and all over the country and the world. It was such an honour being in the ceremony – to represent the country and this wonderful city of ours!

The day of the opening will remain with me forever – the walk down from our holding area at Eaton Manor (site of the Paralympic Tennis venue)  to the Olympic Stadium and seeing the Red Arrows fly over the Stadium. The world’s press clapping & taking pics of us.The noise coming from the stadium and the anticipation of the spectators – all of us booing when there was a slight shower outside the BBC Studio (fortunately it cleared for show time).

Waiting in the bowels of the stadium for our big moment and seeing Kenneth Branagh rehearse for one last time and then being on the stage & all the animals coming off the field of play. The tumultuous cheers when the rings went up. The gasps of the audience as the Queen said “Good evening Mr Bond”! Finally the walk back to Eaton Manor and seeing all the athletes starting to queue to go into the stadium – was wonderful! One of the happiest days of my life!

6. What did you gain?

Meeting so many people from different backgrounds and learning that I can do things when I put my mind to it. Also learning that it’s great to volunteer – the feeling of a sense of purpose.

7. Are you inspired to volunteer further?

I would look at it again but it is exhausting when you have a full-time job – I had no weekends for nearly 3 months!

8. What’s your lasting memory of the Olympics and Paralympics?

Joy – happiness – smiling faces – London and Britain putting on the best Olympic Games ever. Team GB inspiring the nation!

The proof that if governments invest long-term  – we can still be a great country (take note Cameron and Osborne). Realising that even though we are a tiny country we still have an influence in the world that outweighs our size and that we can be a force for good in the world!

Finally – the smell of the stadium will always be with me (akin to new carpet)!

 
Adrian Milner is my 4th Guest Post. He was a Performer in the Opening Ceremony. Over these coming years, I am featuring a number of Games Volunteers and Games Visitors talking about their experience of London 2012!

**Lord Sebastian Coe in his closing speech at The Olympics Closing Ceremony said all the Volunteers had the right to carry the phrase ‘I made London 2012′ as a badge of honour.

Advertisements

‘A Games By Everyone!’

Mr Olympic Gee

Mr Gee in the Olympic Stadium / Photo courtesy of Mr Gee

 

GUEST POST:  MR GEE

*     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *
 

1. What Event/s Did You See?

I went to the stadium to see the Olympic Closing Ceremony and I saw the Men’s Olympic Marathon by Monument Station.

2. Who Did You Go With?

For the closing ceremony I was hanging out backstage with Russell Brand and met up with Ed Sheeran.

I went to see the Marathon by myself.

3. How Did You Get There?

We arrived in a special coach (with the Spice Girls!)

4. What Were Your Highlights?

The highlight of the Closing Ceremony was singing, “Always look on the bright side of life” along with 80,000 people (I also met Eric Idle backstage),

The highlight of the marathon was hearing that Stephen Kiprotich of Uganda had won! (I’m half Ugandan)

5. Did You See Team GB Athletes Compete?

I saw Scott Overall running in the Men’s Olympic Marathon.

6. What Did You Enjoy Most About The Day/s?

After the Closing Ceremony, we went into the centre of the stadium & met athletes from all over the world. I was looking for Mo Farah, but I couldn’t find him.

7. Are You a Seasoned Olympics and Paralympics fan?

I’ve watched many past Olympics on TV, but the fact that this was being held in London made it all the more special. There were so many events happening & the city was buzzing!

8. Were You Inspired To Take Up Sport?

I’m not much of a sporty person, but I have started using the free gym facilities in Wennington Green in Bow.

9. Did You Wear A Tracksuit To The Event?

I wore my Union Jack “Team GB” hoodie to represent!!!

 
Mr Gee (Poet and Radio Presenter), is the third of my Guest Posts. Over this coming year, I will feature a number of Games Volunteers and Games Visitors talking about their experience of London 2012!

**Lord Sebastian Coe said in his Olympic Closing Ceremony Speech:

“Our opening ceremony proclaimed that these would be a Games for everyone… at our closing ceremony, we can say that these were a Games by everyone.”

Our Greatest Team Athletes Parade!

Waiting... Before The Parade

Flags at the ready, before the parade. People next to me

Me, enjoying the moment!

Who Can You Spot? All the Dignitaries

The London Ambassadors were all invited to watch The Athletes Parade from along the privileged position on lining The Mall on September 10th 2012. Along with some of the Games Makers, Ceremonies Volunteers, TFL Volunteers.

Due to requiring a seat for most of the event I was inside the LOCOG Grandstand, opposite Boris Johnson, Sir Philip CravenSebastian Coe and all the other London 2012 dignitaries including David Cameron and Princess Anne.

We even had a wave from Boris at one point!

Cheering The Cyclists!

Also The Swimmers!

Prime Spot for the Finale! Infront of Buckingham Palace, facing the stage of Athletes

Streamers at the end in sky. Celebrations!

Radio Wales Interview

Screen Shot Good Morning Wales

I was interviewed by Kayley Thomas on 7th August 2012. This was the last day of my London Ambassador Shift at The South Bank Information POD over the Olympics 2012.

It was for Good Morning Wales on BBC Radio Wales aired 7.20am on Saturday 11th August 2012. Good Morning Wales were based in the Olympic Park for 2 weeks and were talking about the different volunteering roles over the Olympic Games.

Many thanks to BBC Radio Wales for the clip. Copyright BBC Radio Wales.

Cardiff’s Olympic Flame

Olympic Torch Hayes Cardiff

18.56 The Hayes / Tzevai Chong 25.05.12

Ironically I missed the Olympic Torch travelling through Cardiff at the end of May. I was on London Ambassador Module 3 Training in London, which I will be blogging about.

But I managed to enlist help from willing friends and family, taking photos of the Olympic Torch travelling through Cardiff:

Olympic Torch Hayes Cardiff

Olympic Torch Hayes Cardiff Puppets

18.56 The Hayes / Tzevai Chong 25.05.12

Olympic Torch Riverside Cardiff

19.12 Lower Cathedral Road / John & Ceres Bennett 25.05.12

Olympic Torch Culverhouse Cross Cardiff

Olympic Torch Culverhouse Cross

9.00 Tesco Car Park, Culverhouse Cross. Colin Llewellyn 26.05.12

Big thanks to:

Fellow blogger Tzevai Chong @digitalshades Creator & Editor of Sports Blog Dodgy Knees and Dirty Ballslocal Canton friends John & Ceres and my parents Colin & Marjorie.

Olympic Torch Relay Route around UK & you can also follow The Olympic Torch Live Relay via The BBC.