So far I had completed on-line training, role specific training and picked up my uniform, and learnt all about how to be the best Gamesmaker I could be. I had learnt about how to handle the radios we might be expected to use and how to help members of the public find key locations, seats, shops and toilets! I knew a little bit about my role, but not a huge amount. I knew that I might be expected to fix the odd PC here and there, and work with people trying to access the network. But I still didn’t know exactly what I would be doing, or where, would I be sat in a basement watching a green LED on a server or something or maybe toilet cleaning (seen a theme yet?)

My next step in the journey to become a London 2012 Gamesmaker was Venue Specific Training, and my venue was the Olympic stadium. I would be getting closer than many other people to this beautiful masterpiece, and I was looking forwards to it.

On the day of my training, I made my way to Stratford underground station, passing the UDAC on the way and followed the instructions. The beautiful summer hadn’t quite started and since the hosepipe ban in April it had rained almost every single day, so I was prepared. They had asked us not to wear our uniforms, but come in comfortable clothing, and to bring our accreditation (passcard) which was huge by the way and our document packs as we would be receiving more information.

I made my way from Stratford Station to the stadium through the vast Westfield retail park, and again I was early and thirsty. Handily on a Saturday morning at about 08:30 virtually nothing is open, but I did find a coffee shop where I got some breakfast and a latte. There were other Gamesmakers there too, were any IT Technician team members I wondered?

I Finished my latte and made my way to the stadium. The security was tight as I made my way through the airport style checks. Not open yet to the public only those of us with accreditation and members of the official press could come in, and I belive today was the first day they would use the new check in systems. All smooth, the check – in was painless, and there I was, inside the Olympic park.

Wow, this place was huge, and huge and impressive, the first building I came across was the aquatic centre, and I could see the Olympic stadium in the distance, not too far away, but still a 15 min walk. There were gamesmakers lining the official route, guiding us on our way and as we neared the stadium, we were split up, big crowds going across the main bridge, and a handful of us directed around the side of the stadium. This seemed ominous. Why were all the others going that way, and me and a tiny few going the other way?

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So I continued walking, past the Orbit which looked fantastic and tall, I had not seen it this close before, heading for the entrance I was told to head towards and marvelling at the beauty of the Olympic stadium. I arrived at the relevant bridge (D I think it was) and saw my first scary sign, No Photographs beyond this point, anyone found doing so would be ejected from the park!

I was presented with another passcard check point, and again, a Gamesmaker advised me which route to take. This time there were even less of us, most going into a huge temporary office to the left of the stadium while I was sent further towards the stadium, a hive of activity, lots of machinery and hoists, putting the finishing touches to the outside of this impressive beast. The route I walked took me beneath the stadium, around the inside almost, there were roads and pavements under here, areas the public would not get to see, and I continued walking towards what I later learned was the VIP entrance, where we were escorted to the conference room. More Gamesmakers here, must be enough space for a couple of hundred, were these all IT Technician team members too?

No, in a nutshell they weren’t, there was a large range of roles there on the day, including event services, VIP management and many others, but how many IT Technician team members, surely there must be some!

Today was our opportunity to learn more about the venue, we would reminded about why we were there, and given a tour of the stadium and then we would meet our area leaders.

After our initial briefing and update in which we were advised about all the sports events etc, we were grouped together ready for our tours. Key thing, no photos, anyone taking a photo would be removed from site and not asked back!

We learned very quickly why we were not permitted to take any pictures during the day, they were smack in the middle of preparing for the opening ceremony, we could see the opening scene, and were not permitted to say anything about it! We toured the VIP areas, and some of the back office areas, before being shown the outside public areas. We were informed that we were very lucky to see the VIP areas, as we would not be back there again in our roles! Outside now and we saw the bridges and learned about a few of the key items, one of them being two lights on tall poles. The objective was to push a button and see if you could run between the poles before the lights illuminated, if you could, you would beat Usain Bolt running the 100 metres!
We also found out about the wind turbines there, and handily were informed that we were not permitted to eat at any of the restaurants in our Olympic uniforms. That did feel strange, but we didn’t question the decision!

Once we had finished our tours, we were taken back into the main meeting room where we received more information about our general roles and responsibilities, how to enter and exit the stadium, where to check in and what we could expect etc.

Time came where we would be split up again into groups so that we could be briefed about our specific roles, bring it on, finally I would find out what I would be doing!! I think I was grinning 🙂

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