Tuesday the 31st July. Another early start for me, and a change in weather. It was no longer wall to wall glorious sunshine. That had been replaced by cloud and slightly chilly mornings, with the threat of rain too.

It had been 4 days since my last shift in the stadium. I had some time to rest my poor aching, sore and wounded feet. I slipped into my trainers again, and that now familiar pain returned, not as bad as previously, but still evident. Today however I could at least look at the scenery on my journey into London and not look down at the floor in pain.

There was change on this journey too. More Gamesmakers catching trains from my station. Last week there was just me, now there was me and a handful of others. More tourists too, and evidently even at this time in the morning, many were making their way to the Olympics.

The London stations were changing too, no longer could I choose my route to the tube, I was to follow the new Olympic route, which took me outside London Bridge and down a street to the tube station. This was different.
The changes didn’t stop there either, when I got to Stratford station that too had changed, again, we were guided on a route, rather than making our own way. By this time there were also a lot more Gamesmakers, and tourists too.
We also started to find Gamesmakers on our route too, with big pink hands, guiding us along with directions and smiles. We also had more pass checks too, now you couldn’t get as close to the park as last week unless you had a ticket, or a pass card.
We also encountered more barriers, more people, more gates and a new entrance for us Gamesmakers. What else had changed I wondered, as I made my way through the security checks?

The security checks were as thorough as normal, however there was a subtle change, obviously more new Gamesmakers had been arriving, so we had a few more instructions and reminders from the security team.
I have to admit, I can’t remember if I have praised the Army who were manning the security checkpoints. Can I just say how brilliant they were, in either the scorching heat, or the cold of the British summer, they were polite, helpful and always had a smile. They were also brilliantly efficient. Thanks all 🙂

Back to the story.
I made my way into the park, and what a change awaited me. All the signs were up and lit, Gamemakers were lining the route, the public were there, taking pictures and having fun (at 07:20 in the morning too!). Many of the little things had changed, the coffee shop outside the stadium had gone, to be replaced by other outlets. And the place was heaving, no more walking through the park, with much of it to myself, now there were tourists too, lots of happy smiling faces, quite a few questions and some posing for pictures, wonder if they minded 😉 ?

I made my way to the Gamesmaker check in, the Stadium had a new set of barriers too now, stopping the public from getting too close, which was prudent, as the Stadium still had a few more days to go, before it was ready for competition.
I arrived into the Gamesmaker check in, luckily as my shift was relatively early, it was still quite quiet in there, and I didn’t have to wait to check in. I picked up my meal vouchers , long day so lunch and dinner would be provided today, which was nice, the evening meals were still delicious!

Armed with my booty, I made my way to the IT office, via the restaurant to pick up a cup of coffee, and walked in to the IT office and settled down to wait for the others.
They soon arrived, and one of them asked if I had seen the Olympic flame. Yes on the telly, it looked great. No they replied, the one in the tunnel, did you see it, how did you miss it, you walked straight past it they said when you came in!?!

That’s right, i’m not sure if I have mentioned it yet, but our IT office was next to one of the Stadium entrance tunnels, and it happened to be the one the Olympic flame was in front of, and I had walked straight past it and not even noticed! It was a bit warmer in that tunnel though, which i had noticed, but not thought any more about it!
I put down my coffee and headed out of the IT office.

And there it was, the Olympic flame, in all it’s glory, just outside our office, i had walked past it to get in this morning, within about 3 feet of this giant thing. Now to point out though, that it was on a large base, and had a huge board behind it, so that all i could see as I walked past it, was this board, it was only when you looked around the board, that you could see the flame.
I could virtually walk up to it and touch it, but I didn’t. Still wasn’t sure if we could take pictures yet, never mind touch the base of the Olympic flame!

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I sheepishly made my way back into the office, and with a big grin on my face. I could not believe just how close I could get to the Olympic flame and even from that angle it looked beautiful.
I discussed the beauty of the flame with the rest of the team, whilst we waited for our first task of the day. Today would be different, there were a lot more people in the stadium now, more staff and many more volunteers and I was looking forward to it!

Bring it on!

To be continued.

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