Today would be my last shift before competition would start tomorrow. Another early start, this would be my last long shift day. From now on there would be a morning shift and an afternoon/evening shift. But not today, today I would not finish until 6:15 pm, a long day lay ahead.

As with the other recent days, there were a lot more people about, boarding trains and making their way towards the Olympic park. By now the spirit of the Olympic games was really beginning to build. The swimming, diving, rowing, and other events were gripping the nation. Much of it on TV, now even more people wanted to experience the Olympics live rather than just via a TV screen.

At London bridge, they had segregated the platforms, some would be directed one way, the others would get a different route outside of the station and then back into the tube station down the road.
I had a hunch when I arrived, that I could miss the guided walkway out of the station, around the block and into the tube station, if I switched platforms, and made my way out from another platform, just maybe I could use the internal route instead. And it paid off, I could. This was a lot nicer, more relaxed, less people and inside where it was nice too.

The tubes were busier now too, more people, and more followers. By this I mean, more people ignoring the tube announcements to leave the tube at an earlier stop, instead to follow me and other Gamesmakers to the stadium. Bless, they assumed that we knew the best route!?! I’m not sure I did, but it was familiar to me, I had travelled this route 8 times now, and I was becoming more and more like an old friend to me.

I was met with the usual efficiency and the smiles of the early morning park check in, and the Gamesmaker check in. Picking up my booty, it was a warmer day today so I took up the offer of free sunscreen (remember I still hadn’t found my hat) and they were now offering bottles of water too. Warm I might add, oh how we were spoilt in the IT team, with our fridge and chilled water! 😉 But I gratefully took it and made my way via the canteen and a cup of coffee later to our office. Before I arrived at the office, I stopped for a bit and gazed at the flame. It looked and sounded beautiful, in the early morning stillness of the Olympic stadium. It might seem strange, but in the early morning quiet, you could hear the flame burning, and I loved it.

Boyed by the sound and view of the flame, I smiled as I walked into the office. A couple of the paid team were in, and they offered me a breakfast voucher. Yuuuuuummmmy. Off we went to the canteen, to pick up breakfast, a handful of us.
When we arrived there was 3 bacon rolls remaining, having been out on the hot plate for a while, the lady presented one to my colleague. He was a no nonsense chap, with a fantastic sense of humour and a wicked way about him. Upon tasting said roll, he loudly proclaimed to the lady serving us, that this was inedible, and quite rightly asked for one of the fresh ones under the counter. She looked perplexed, but with three of us there all suggesting the same thing (I agree, mine was tough enough to build a house on) she agreed to replace them. Soft bacon rolls for breakfast, this was going to be a great day.

Our morning rounds were changing each day, different people, and each day some of the offices would change, different equipment, although the PCs were largely staying put now. The odd TV screen would sometimes appear in our IT office too, so we could just about keep up with the action from the other events around the park and the other arenas. We had screens in the canteen too, but we couldn’t really hear what was going on in there, the noise from the occupants of the canteen was often too loud.
But we weren’t bothered by this, or upset, we were still having the time of our lives!

We finished our morning shifts, without much incidence. Some of the changes were starting to bite a bit. The warm up track had been reclassified as a new location that we didn’t have access too anymore, so we were unable to check the PCs here. We would have to rely on them reporting them if they were faulty, unless they gave us access of course. Some of the offices remained locked, so we couldn’t check them, but largely things were the same. The TV areas were getting busier now, more cameras and equipment and people turning up of course.

Lunch was the normal if busier affair, still nice to have a hot meal though, and a chance to sit down.

We made our way back to the office for our afternoon shift. This afternoon would be a slightly different one this time. This afternoon we would be back on the lower press tribunes. Where’s the difference in that I hear you cry!?!

Well this afternoon we had been tasked with setting up the anti glare shields that would be used to cover each screen on the tribunes. A cardboard affair, we had 500-600 flatpacked cardboard sheets, that we had to assemble into these covers, and then affix them to every screen we could find. We had two sets, the smaller sets for the information touch screens, and the larger set for the LCD TVs that were on each desk too.
We had made up quite a few of these before we discovered this fact, and wondering why the large ones completely dwarfed the touchscreens. It was only when a colleague had struggled and failed to jam a smaller cover over the larger TV screens that this became apparent.

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View looking up the lower tribune area, where you can make out the plastic sheeting, and the cardboard anti glare screens.

So we built them, and fixed them to the screens, in the warmth of the summer sun. And we watched what else was happening in the stadium. It was starting to come alive, getting ready for it’s next event, almost finished its metamorphosis from a stadium of entertainment, to one of entertainment and sport.

We stepped down from the tribunes onto the track, and looked back up to marvel at what we had achieved, it looked great the tribunes were ready. All systems were go, the screens all worked, the menus all worked, we were ready.

Bring on the competition!

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