I have just finished my first work as a Dronfield volunteer at the 2012 London Olympics and to quote a famous film it’s been a case of the Good, the Bad and the Ugly.
First the Good. As with all contact I had with fellow Games Maker volunteers the conversation involves asking why you volunteered, have given up time for free, found and paid for your own accommodation and learned a new job in a new location? The answer is almost universally the same for everyone - because we can and want to be involved in the greatest show on earth.
Many think we must be insane. But many spend time and fortunes on hobbies and in our case volunteering for others is our chosen pastime.
Now for the Bad. Monday was my first shift. Having travelled on Sunday I missed Bradley Wiggins’ Tour de France success. I had to find accommodation, sort timings for my next day and transport, got up at 4am and arrived on my 6am to noon shift and being the new boy is never easy.
I was also selected among winners in a competition for seats for the rehearsal of the opening ceremony at the Olympic Stadium.
This started at 7.30pm. But I can’t tell you any more because show creator Danny Boyle has sworn us all to secrecy. So I’m keeping the hottest secret in town but trust me everyone will be in for a treat, on Friday.
The rehearsal finished at 10.15pm, but it was announced that the Central Line had been disabled. So about 60,000 people converged on Stratford Station in a good-humoured but chaotic panic. I had visions of spending the night on a park bench but I got back to my accommodation about 1am. That meant I’d been going 20 hours and I had to be up at 4am.
But before I could turn in for my three hours of sleep along came the Ugly. As I returned from the aforementioned traumatic day someone had smeared the saddle and handle bars of my bicycle with with brown sauce.
This mindless hooliganism could not dampen my spirits. It lies in stark contrast to the time and money the Games Makers have given freely and that generosity will win everytime. It’s clearly going to be a challenging time but ever so rewarding. Awsome!