By the time we had got back from our walk around the Olympic park, it was time for our evening meal (well it was about 7pm anyway, and I was Hank Marvin’).
All the other Gamesmakers had already eaten so we were despatched on our own and with some haste too as we needed to get there before the canteen shut for the evening. Another delicious evening meal, by now we were finding that the evening ones were generally of a better quality than the ones during the day.

As we walked back to the office from the canteen area, we could hear the public arriving into the stadium, and hear the ceremony getting ready.

We got back into the office with little hope that we would see much tonight, especially after our incident on the previous Friday. So we settled down to an evening sitting in the office, waiting for any faults to be called in, and working away on our smartphones or reading books etc.

However, things are never quite as they seem when working as a Gamesmaker in the Olympic Stadium.

The Stadium technology manager (responsible for all the technology in the stadium, our top boss) gathered us all together for our nightly briefing. This was the first one I was involved with as on previous nights the stadium was closed so we didn’t require a briefing.
As the date of the Opening ceremony got closer, we would need to know more about what was scheduled for the day and the evening and the briefings would keep us informed. Tonight we learnt the time the stadium would be open to the public and the number of people who were expected to be in the stadium. There would be 50,000 tonight and it was going to be the first proper test of the entry process, and we would need to be aware as we moved around the stadium that we might not get to our destination as quickly as before.

Tonight was to be the first proper rehearsal and we could hear it starting up from our nice windowless breezeblock office. We would be able to hear the goings on, but wouldn’t be able to see them.

Or so we thought.
After a brief discussion between some of the other colleagues, we were advised to pop up to the lower tribune area and see if we could find somewhere we could stand, out of the way, and watch some of the ceremony. Not wanting to hang about we instantly complied and made our way through the corridors and additional security people upstairs.
We found a location, and a few of us stood around to watch the ceremony from our vantage point. All was going well until about 10 minutes in, when we were advised that we couldn’t stay where we were, as we would be in the way of the drummers and there was no where else to stand, so when the time came, we left our spot, and made our way back to our office.

More discussions, and this time one of our colleagues was dispatched to scout out a new location for us to watch the ceremony. Following on from our little indiscretions on the previous Friday, and the displeasure that was supposedly expressed by our IT technology team manager, it was with a little surprise that I discovered that it was he who had dispatched a colleague to find a suitable location. Maybe he wasn’t quite so strict as I had originally thought.

Our scout was unable to find a suitable location, and the IT manager decided it was time to take matters into his own hands, giving the scout specific instructions about where to look, and off they went.
Soon the phone rang, and instructions were given about where we could sit. The upper tribunes were free, and there was a range of seats that we could occupy. So off we were again.

For me it was the second time I got to watch the Opening ceremony, and I discovered that our IT manager was actually a really nice chap. This was all going too well, surely something would go wrong, and it certainly couldn’t get any better could it?

We watched the entire ceremony until the point where the athletes would arrive. At this point all the public were asked to leave, as there wasn’t really much for them to see, apart from some volunteers walking around the stadium so to speak. At this point we also left the stadium and returned to the office. The place was a buzz with what we had seen, all of us now really eager to see the real thing on Friday. Many of us discussed how many shows we could see, at least one volunteer was scheduled for all three nights, lucky indeed. For me that was my last scheduled evening shift on a ceremony night, the next rehearsal being Wednesday (I was on an early shift that day) and of course the full Opening ceremony on the Friday night, when I wasn’t scheduled to be in, so I would have to watch at home.

Soon it was time for us to leave for the evening, another fantastic and generally awesome night. We were very excited now, and starting to realise that we were lucky individuals indeed.

Oh yes, almost forgot, remember my feet? Remember that it is at least a 20 min walk to the station? All I can say is ouch, it was so painful to walk, how was I going to manage? Well tonight I would be a little lucky and I did get to rest a bit outside the stadium, the queues for the tube station that evening were huge, and we had left at least 45 minutes after the rest of the public. We were lucky again, we only had to wait about 20 minutes, but others must have been there longer. The thing is though, no one minded, everybody in the queue was really cheerful and happy,talking about what they had witnessed that night, and many were looking forward to Friday!

To be continued….

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