Ok, Ok, I know that the competition started at the Olympic stadium yesterday, Friday 3rd August, but I wasn’t rostered in that day. So I had to watch it from home!!!

So today was my first shift of the competition.

A nice early start, today I was scheduled for the morning shift, on what would later be called (for us in the UK anyway) as Super Saturday! Like my previous morning commutes the trains and tubes were certainly filling up with more Gamesmakers and tourists. Some of the Gamesmakers were smiling, some tired, all standing out from the crowd, and all polite and smiling too.

The crowds outside the park were getting bigger now too. Even at this time of the morning, there must have been thousands getting ready to enter the park, checking their tickets and making their way to the main entrances. There were more Gamesmakers lining the route too, armed with big pink hands, or megaphones, and the crowds all love it. I pour my water out in a storm drain before making my way to the Gamesmaker entrance.

Wonderfully efficient, I proceed through the Gamesmaker entrance into the park. Now there were more people, more Gamesmakers, mobility vehicles, photo opportunities, reporters. My walk to the stadium would take longer now, many more people to navigate around, but the atmosphere was electric, and I was nice and early, so I didn’t mind and it was fun.

I proceeded through the Gamesmaker and staff entrance to the Olympic Stadium. Now there were more people, more Gamesmakers to be precise, many more. I mentioned last time that more were turning up, well, now it felt like all of them had arrived, and it was still only 07:20!
The stadium was abuzz, alive, ready for day 2 of competition.

For those of you who have read up on day 6 and 7 a couple of days after they were published, I have made a slight mistake. I didn’t get my card, stickers and pin badges, my memory is getting old! So to set the record straight (for those your you who read those blogs more than a couple of days afterwards, I have amended them now!)

I arrived at the Gamesmaker check in area, expecting it to be heaving, but it wasn’t, still quite early so there was no queue this morning. Our check in process did change today though. Up to now, we had our passcards scanned, picked up a meal voucher or two, and then we were sent on our way. Today was different. Today I was asked if I had a check in card, which I hadn’t so she supplied me with one, added a sticker, and presented me with a pin badge, and a rice crispy cake for breakfast.
Armed with my booty, I made my way to the IT office, via the canteen for a cup of coffee and via the flame for a quick early morning gaze.

The office was beginning to wake up when I arrived at 07:30. This was a good 2 1/2 hours before competition would start at 10 am, but we needed that time to check all the equipment ready for competition to start.
We kicked off our morning checks, around all the internal offices, the timing rooms, the medical offices, all around, before coming back and checking the tribunes. All had to be complete by 10 am, but we had it down to a fine art now, we knew exactly what we were doing , and all equipment was ready and in time.

Although we had finished in time, we took a bit of time leaving the area, making sure that everything was perfect, and we managed to catch the first few minutes of competition. We saw Jess Ennis win the first race of the morning, and the noise and the atmosphere was amazing. It was 10 am, and the stadium was full, 80 thousand people full.

We knew we were in for something amazing, we had witnessed it, and if it was the only event we witnessed during our entire time here, we were happy, impressed, amazed, ecstatic. Now it definitely couldn’t get better than this, could it?

As we made our way back to the comfort of our IT office, little did we know just what had started.

The rest of the morning passed without much incident. Apart from the odd issue here and there, we largely remained in our office. Listening to the crowds upstairs and outside, the cheering and the atmosphere. We could hear it all clearly in our office, and now a small telly had arrived we could see some of it too. We also had the option of streaming some of the live channels on our wireless network, which we did. Whilst we waited for fault reports to come in, we sat and watched, or read, or for me I caught up on some of my normal work too. Every so often a task would come in, and some of us would rush off to fix the issue, be it with a PC somewhere or a printer or a network problem.
Because we were so prepared each morning the fault level was always going to be low, and this was exactly how it should be. We should not be seen or heard. So we settled down and waited patiently.

Competition finished at 12:30, which signalled our time to go and get some food. A short stop, we were back out on the tribunes soon afterwards. Ready for our big task of the day, which had to be completed before competition re-started at 6pm.
If you have been reading this blog from the start, you will remember reading about the afternoon where we spent about 4 hours locking all the screens on the tribunes to their respective PCs and the furniture. Well it appears that this had been a bad idea, I suspect because when a screen goes faulty, it takes an age to remove them, and the users were not happy about waiting?

So this afternoon, it was back on our hands and knees, in the dust, armed with K lock keys as we unlocked each screen from it’s PC, collected the locking pins, and then locked the PC back up again. We had about 400- 500 to do, each one taking about 5-10 mins. A busy afternoon.

When time came to finish our shift and we had completed unlocking all of the screens, we were dead on our feet. It had been a tough afternoon, but we had witnessed an event in the morning, and heard the stadium come alive with the sounds of competition. It had been a very good day.
Little did we know what our evening shift colleagues were in for when we handed over to them at 4pm, the opportunity to experience Super Saturday live, however we were shattered, and I know that I enjoyed Super Saturday from the comfort of my settee when I got home that evening.

I slept well that night, I had witnessed something amazing that day. I’m sure my shift tomorrow afternoon would be good too, but for now I slept, the sleep of exhaustion.

To be continued…..

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