Archive for April, 2013


I knew this day would come. Of course I did, but it didn’t make it any better, or less poignant or easier.

It was the afternoon of Saturday 11th August, and it was a beautiful day a proper summers day. My shift didn’t start until 16:30 today, but I wanted to get to the Olympic park early, partly because I wanted to walk around the park a bit, and purchase some more Olympic memorabilia. It sounds crazy I know, but I wanted stuff that I could look back on in years to come, and say “I was there, I was part of one of the greatest sporting events in the world, and it was amazing”

I put on my Olympics uniform for the last time, the mix of purple and cream. The cream trousers that I had never managed to keep clean in my role for more than 2 or 3 hours, the trainers that were so painful in the early days, the jacket that could fold into itself, the socks, shirts etc. I had not wanted to wear it before I had started my shifts, I had joked about the colour, and how quickly the trousers would become mucky and dirty, but now I felt sad that I wouldn’t be wearing it again.
It meant that it was coming close to the end, the end of the best 4 weeks, the end of the fun, and the hard work scrabbling around on my hands and knees, and the people, the atmosphere and the beauty of the stadium.

But I couldn’t stop it and I still had today to savor, a day that was bound to be full of entertainment, fun and memories.

I made my way to the stadium for my last shift, taking time to absorb the views, contemplating and thinking, enjoying the moment, the journey, the sights and sounds and the feelings.
I arrived at Stratford station and made my way to the park. The station was busy but everyone was happy and smiling, the security teams ever efficient and smiling too. The gamesmakers with their pink foam hands, and their megaphones, all smiling, all happy, all working hard.
The park was again heaving, full of people, adults and children all enjoying their time there, busy, how it should be, as I made my way towards the Gamesmaker check in for the final time. This was the last day I would visit this check in, and it was still quiet and I walked straight up to a desk to pick up my final booty. Today we got a limited edition baton, as well as our Gamesmaker news, the suntan lotion, and crispy snack, cup of tea, bottle of water etc.
Being in the position we were in, I had also managed to pick up a few other items over the past few days, a special edition mousemat, and a games compendium listing all the olympic events since the start of the modern games. So I had quite a collection now, especially with all my official stuff too.

My last shift, my last shift, my last shift.

I arrived at the IT office, after gazing up at the majesty of the flame for one last time.
The team in the IT office were a wee bit surprised, I was 3 hours early! I quickly explained that I was here early to go around the park and do some shopping and take it all in for the final time before I left this place forever. They agreed that was a good idea, and let me drop my stuff off before making my way out of the office again. Being in our own office, I knew my stuff would be safe there, and I grabbed my camera to take with me, today I was going to get all those snaps I wanted,it was just too good an opportunity to miss!
At the time of day I arrived at the stadium, the morning events had finished and the stadium was closed to the public, which meant that I could move around freely. I had almost full access to the stadium anyway so I wasn’t doing anything wrong by mooching around, and I thought to myself that being my Last day here and I couldn’t really be fired now, lets take a chance to have a proper look about!
A key thought running through my mind was to get a bit closer to that flame and take some proper pictures!

So that’s what I did, my access level let me through to the area where the flame was, although I couldn’t get too close for safety reasons, but I could get close enough, and rattled off a couple of shots. Somewhat luckily I met a fellow Gamesmaker up there too, who had the same idea as me, so we agreed to take pictures of each other standing next to the flame, result! One for the photo album!

Image from the public area just above the flame, the heat was intense

Image from the public area just above the flame, the heat was intense

Image from the restricted area near the flame, this is the same view as the fixed camera seen on the TV

Image from the restricted area near the flame, this is the same view as the fixed camera seen on the TV

conscious that I didn’t want to out stay my welcome, I quickly stowed my camera back in my pocket, and made my way away from the flame area and out of the stadium, into the park, I still some had gifts and pressies to get.
This meant queuing, although not for too long, each queue would be about 30 mins or so, in the heat, which although was a bit uncomfortable, I couldn’t and wouldn’t grumble. Far better than being in the rain, and of course being in my uniform meant that I got asked lots of questions about my role and the park, which I was happy to answer!
And it was my last day, I was sad, but also keen to enjoy it.

The time queueing for each of the superstores passed quite quickly and it wasn’t long before I had picked up what I wanted, so I spent the rest of my time wandering around the park. Like the rest of the visitors, once in the park you got access to a range of areas,and although you couldn’t gain access to any venues unless you had the relevant ticket or pass there was plenty to see and do in the Olympic park. It was an experience all of its own, integral to the other arenas, but able to stand up on its own. Anyway I wasn’t there to look inside the other venues though, I was there to enjoy the park.
And it was beautiful, huge but beautiful, heaving and full but no less beautiful, probably more so. It was so nice to see everybody enjoying the park and what it had to offer.

I wandered around many of the areas, took in the sights and some of the exhibits. It was great, and I had a nice relaxing time.
But it wasn’t long before I needed to make my way back to the Olympic stadium. Although it wasn’t too far away, I had to make sure that I had enough time to cross the park, with all the other visitors to get past, and to take the odd snap on the way too, and still get there in time to start my shift.

What would happen tonight, my last night in the stadium, what would I see and do tonight? Would it be any good?

Any good, ha! Little did I know at the time, that tonight was going to be awesome, and possibly the best night there so far.

I was in for a treat, but I didn’t know it yet 😉

To be continued……

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The Porcupines in action[/caption]Interesting, I have just picked through the athletics biographical entry list book that I nabbed before I left the Olympics, and it mentions that the Decathlon started on the 8th of August, So today was day 2 of the decathlon. Oh well, as we were largely busy peeps we obviously didn’t notice the decathlon going on yesterday too!.

Anyway there were lots of other events too, some big ones, with some top class athletes. Ok these were qualifiers, but the atmosphere was still electric, and there were many stars that we wanted to see today.

Now although this blog has only been written today, long after the events of the Olympics and outside have taken place, the emotions I was feeling at the time were as written here.
And today I wanted a glimpse of a great athlete in action, one who would appear in both the Olympics and Paralympics. Of course I wanted to see Oscar in action. He was becoming a bit of a poster boy for the spirit of the games and the entire crowd wanted to see him in the qualifiers of the 4x 400 metres. We wanted to see him in action, how quick was he, could he take the team to the final, and we wanted to see the performer in action.

Soon the time came for qualifiers, and the entire arena switched focus for a while from the Decathletes to the those who would be running around the track.
And there he was, standing virtually in front of where I was sitting (ok a long way down, but at least on my side of the track). He looked amazing, pumped up and ready to go, and playing to the crowd. And the crowd were loving it, the tension and atmosphere was electric and expectant.
The athletes lined up on their spots ready, and the crowd fell silent.
We waited, all was hushed, and then the gun went off, and the noise became intense. Oscar was at the 3rd position, so we had a bit to wait, but by this time we were totally absorbed in the action, and then….

Oscar waiting on the track

Oscar waiting on the track

Something went wrong, the chap in position 2 lost the baton, and that was sort of it, we saw the team looking crestfallen, whilst the rest of the teams made it successfully around the track to the finish line. It was a disappointment for all those on the track, and those of us watching. We didn’t get to see him run.

Oscar realises that he wont get his chance to run

Oscar realises that he wont get his chance to run

Soon we were back to the rest of the athletics, time couldn’t wait, and neither could the stadium. There was so much going on, high jumps, hammer throws and pole vaults, so much to watch so much to be absorbed in, and keep up with. It was a busy day, and most of us working in the stadium had been up since stupid o’clock just to be there!

One of the things that most people watching via the TV don’t get to see is the hard work and technology that is employed around the stadium to make it all work. 2 of these things are the porcupines, fantastic little remote-controlled cars that are used to bring the javelins and the hammers and shot puts back. They were brilliant, especially when they were racing around the field. Handling those cars looked like lots of fun, but I didn’t envy the two controllers, who had to sit out in the baking sun for 4 hours, at least we had the canopy and a regular supply of drinks and snacks.

The Porcupines in action

It had been a fantastic morning, but by 13:30 we were getting mighty hungry, we had been there since 09:00. So we took it in turns to nip down to the canteen, grab some lunch and come back to ensure that the area was covered until the end of our shifts.
We caught the end and reflected on a fantastic day as we made our way back to the IT office.

What a great day, I had met an Olympic champion, and seen some great events. I reflected on my time here as I made my way out of the stadium and park for the penultimate time. My next shift was on Saturday the 11th August, my last shift here, and the final day of events. What would it hold in store I wondered??

Well the answer is lots, but I will get to that in the next installment. It is likely to be a longer installment, there was lots and lots to do, and it would be my last day as a “free agent” in the Olympic park.

My last day.

And by crikey it was early, proper early this one, a 06:45am start.

Now I know that there were many other Gamesmakers who had to start a lot earlier, and leave a lot later, so I shouldn’t grumble. But for those of us in the IT team who were scheduled in today, this would be our earliest shift.

Towards the start of this blog, I mentioned that we had been informed that we needed to be in the IT office at the time our shift started. For me this morning, that would have meant waking up at 03:30am, which did not fill me with Joy. So I checked with the the Acer and Atos colleagues who were on the same shift, to find out what time they needed to be there. Their shifts started at 7am and not 06:45, and as we couldn’t start work without them (we were a team) I made a decision that I would aim for that time too. This was important, as due to the train times it would mean at least another hour in bed, which was a very good thing.

Cool crisp and early, I made my way towards the park. Naturally the roads and trains were quieter, and the journey was quite pleasant. It was still busy at the entrance to the park though, when I arrived, but everyone was still smiling and happy, the power of the Olympic spirit was still strong, and probably getting stronger. I was suprised at how busy the park was, even at this time in the morning as I made my way through the crowds to the staff entrance, but I still didn’t need to queue to get through the Gamesmaker check-in, which was nice. I picked up my penultimate range of goodies, this time a gold pin badge, which was nice, grabbed some suntan cream, a cup of coffee and made my way into the office for 7am. As planned, I wasn’t late, we were all just arriving.

But why on earth were we here so early today? Well today was the start of the Decathlon, which kicked off at 9am, not 10 am like the rest of the events, hence us needing start an hour early. We and they had lots to do!

Straight out onto the Tribunes we went, we couldn’t hang about this morning, so we got working as soon as we could. Everything was a hive of activity, and even more of the press and media were about this morning, getting ready themselves for the main event. Although there would be other events this morning, the focus would be on the first day of competition for the Decathlon. There were a lot of athletes competing today, and lots of press too.

We quickly got to work, checking equipment, swapping any that was faulty, and making sure everything was ready. We were well skilled in this now, like a well oiled machine, and we were finished well in time for the start of the events this morning.

We were getting used to the stars that we saw each morning, a vairety of national and international TV presenters, radio presenters and other associated media. Most we would smile to, some we would say good morning to, and on occassion we would share a few words with some. However we were all working, so we were keen not to disturb them, or cause ourselves problems by not completing our rounds in time.
This morning was different though, well for me it was anyway. Today was the Decathlon, and reporting on one of the many radio stations that broadcast from the Arena, was Daley Thompson. Daley Thompson for me was a local hero, he used to train at our local lesiure centre, when my mum worked there on the reception desk. And it was during this time that he was performing on the world stage, and ultimately winning his Olympic gold medal in 1984. I had already walked past him during my rounds, and didn’t speak to him as he looked pretty busy on the phone and getting ready for his slot on the radio, so I thought it best not to disturb him.

But that was a while ago and now we had finished our rounds, and I could see Daley from where we were standing. I pondered for a bit on whether I should pop over and say hello, but he was still busy on the phone.
And all of a sudden, he was off the phone, and in a rare moment, I made a snap decision, and decided I would sieze my once in a lifetime chance to meet an Olympic champion!
I walked up to him, smiled and said good morning. Offering my hand he smiled and shook it. Wow what a grip, a proper grip, a proper handshake. I was turning into a sort of mush in awe of this truely great athlete, so I quickly explained that I was from the same town he used to train in, and really wanted to say hello, and sorry for disturbing him. His smile was huge, and we spent a few moments discussing the past, and what had happened to the old leisure centre that he used to use. He still lives relatively close and mentioned that he had used the new centre too, which although didn’t have the same memories was still a very nice, and well equipped centre, the pool is olympic sized too! We spoke some more, and I thanked him for his time and mentioned that I enjoyed watching him win his gold medal, an awesome time.
And that was it, I made my way back to the rest of the team, now I had the huge smile on my face.
Of course I forgot to get a photo, which I would regret later on, but for the moment, I was happy, I had met an Olympic legend!

Back in the IT office, we were split up again, and again today I would get the upper tribunes to manage and look after. Popping my camera in my pockets, and making sure I had some food, I made my up to the upper tribunes, via the tea and coffee area to grab a bre of course.

The events were awesome, so much going on, so much to watch. We of course had the odd machine to look over, but as we had completed our morning checks we often didn’t get many faults, and could therefore enjoy the events. We did spend some time on crowd control, making sure that members of the public didn’t sit in restricted areas, and continued to watch the systems, and make sure we were ready in case we were needed.

Mid jump.

Mid jump.

Wenlock running on the track

Wenlock running on the track

To be continued.

Yeah right.

I’m a Gamesmaker in the Olympic Stadium, during the Olympics and so far I have witnessed the Opening Ceremony (3 times in the stadium, once via the TV) seen the 100 metres final live from one of the best seats in the house, and witnessed an entire morning of events yesterday. So what would happen today I wonder.

At the start of our time in the stadium we had been informed that we shouldn’t take any pictures, however that was before the opening ceremony had been shared with the world, and as you can see from my previous blogs, I had begun to take more pictures of the events. Each morning I was still taking my laptop in its rucksack in with me, although over the past few days I had not had any chance to do any work on it! However it did have space in it for the odd item here and there, and now that I was starting to take more pictures on my phone, I thought it would be a good time to pack a decent bridge camera with me (Cannon G10), to take some better snaps. So I stowed it in my laptop rucksack and left the house.

Still without my hat (not found it yet) but at lest now without the painful feet, I made my way to the Olympic park. Today was a sunny morning, lovely and warm. The crowds were again huge, the Olympic spirit was still in evidence, and all the Gamesmakers were cheerful and smiling broadly as I entered the park. The security teams were in a good mood too, in fact everyone was in a good mood this morning.

Again I proceeded through the Gamesmaker check in without incident, still hardly anyone there so no queues at this time in the morning. I stopped checking for any hats a long time ago, mine had gone, never to return.
I collected my booty, more pin badges, we already had a daily diary, and now we were getting other items too. I set myself up with suntan cream and made my way (via the canteen of course for a cup of coffee) and the Olympic flame into the office.

Soon we were all in and ready to start our day. We carried out our checks, and just to remind all you readers, that the checks were still the full walk around, outside tribunes, inside press areas, the timing control and monitoring areas and the media suites and rooms. We didn’t often check the production wagons, but that was partially because we couldn’t always get in!

Once we had completed our rounds (changing any machines that needed fixing, easier to leave a good one up there and repair them back in the office) we arrived back in the office ready for our next tasks.
Today would be like yesterday, we needed teams on the Tribunes, and as I was in the lower tribune yesterday I volunteered for the upper tribune today. I stowed my camera discretely in my pocket as we made our ways out of the office.
There were two types of Gamesmakers in our little team. IT technician team members and Service Desk team members. As IT Technician team members our roles were to go out and about and fix things. The Service Desk team members were meant to sit in the IT office and man the phones inputting faults onto the system. They had been trained on how to use the system, and had usernames and passwords which the IT Technician team members did not.
In essence this really meant that only us IT Technician team members should go outside and leave the office. However it was pretty evident that the IT management felt that this was unfair (which we all agreed with), so each day most of the service desk team members would come out too, leaving one behind to work on the systems in the office. Unfortunately as we didn’t have usernames or passwords we couldn’t really help, and I felt a bit guilty about that, but unfortunately there wasn’t really anything we could do.

Anyway we made our way to our areas for the morning, 3 of us in the upper tribunes, and 4 in the lower tribunes. I picked up some coffees for the team and we monitored the systems, responding when faults came in, and of course watched the athletics.
The views from the upper tribunes were fantastic. In the lower tribunes we were definitely closer to the action, but from up here you could have a different view of the whole arena, making it easier to see the multitude of events that were going on. We of course also had the media information systems, which meant that we were totally up to date with all the results too.

As we were relatively hidden (the spectators were concentrating on the athletics in the arena) I snuck my camera out of my pocket and started taking some pics. Naturally some were rubbish, but now I was definitely in the mood for capturing as much as I could, while I could. Never in a million years did I even hope that we would be this close to the action, so I took the opportunity whilst I was still there!

Our view from our desks in the upper tribunes

Our view from our desks in the upper tribunes

I mentioned before that Olympic fever had really taken hold, and that the 80k capacity crowd even at 10am were full of enthusiasm for everything they saw, every event and every athlete. This was really evident today, and really touching. I can’t remember the event (might have been the 800 metres or 1500 metres), but it was a qualifier, and most of the field had finished the race, leaving one, a good lap behind all the others.
The crowd did not switch off, and cheered the individual every step of the way, and I mean every step. Towards the end of their race the noise escalated to a wall of sound, you must have been able to hear this miles away, until the individual crossed the line, and now the crowd went totally wild. If you had your eyes closed for this race you would have believed that the person who just crossed the line had won it.
And that touched me, the empathy from the crowd, this individual had tried their hardest on a world stage, and been quite rightly rewarded for their efforts which a cheer that could be heard across London (I reckon).

To be continued.

An apology first though, not finished day 10 yet, so here goes.

We left the last post, where the morning crew were handing over the batten of work/volunteering to the evening shift.
But I have missed out a huge chunk, partly because I want to make these relatively easy to read! It’s not because I forgot honest.

Anyway
Remember how earlier on Monday I mentioned that Usain was a nice person, who deserved all the adulation and praise that he gets, because he works hard for it, and remember how I said we would see it again? Well.

Today Phillips Idowu was competing in the triple jump. The crowd were amazing, all 80k behind him every step of the way, but today on this international stage he just couldn’t do it. We will probably never know why, but it was heartbreaking for us, and for all the spectators in the stadium and I am sure around the world.
He held his head up as he left the arena, and the crowd respected that, we all did.
And it must have taken some courage to come out again and perform the round of TV and media interviews, that are obviously so much fun when you are winning, but must be hard when it’s just not your day.

Usain speaking to Phillips

Usain speaking to Phillips

And this bit changed my day.
Hardly anyone will have seen this, i’m sure most spectators were watching the events, and some were just not close enough, but Phillips received a visitor whilst he was being interviewed by a non-uk TV crew. Usain Bolt had just finished a qualifying race (winning of course) and he started the TV interview session. Whilst he was being interviewed by the BBC, he must have noticed that Phillips was just up the way being interviewed by another crew. As soon as he finished the interview with the BBC, he made his way, leaping over the barriers, around the other members of the press and media who were there, and went straight up to Phillips, who must still have been in bits. Usain took some time to speak to Phillips before giving him a big hug and then talking some more. Probably no more than 3 or 4 minutes, but the fact was, he took the time to speak and console another athlete who was having a terrible day. And that struck me, for all his detractors, his big “I AM” persona on the track/stage and his obvious ability Usain Bolt is actually a really nice person as well as a hard working athlete.

I also forgot to add this bit too.
I mentioned earlier there were only 4 days left before my time as a Gamesmaker would end. Now being a bloke (a top bloke I might add) but still a bloke, I am pretty practical and I employ a just in time system for any task or activity. It works, well most of the time 😉

Anyway, it suddenly dawned on me that here I was enjoying one of the best times of my life and almost completely forgetting that I should really purchase some gifts and Olympics stuff for my Niece and Nephew and the rest of the family and that I had better do it a bit sharpish too! A fellow Gamesmaker thought it would be a good idea too, so we decided to take a detour and make our way to the huge megastore in the park.

The day had warmed up from the chill of the morning, and was gorgeous and warm as we made our way through the crowds in the park towards the megastore. This place was huge, basically a huge warehouse, and we were like the other thousands of people who wanted to visit. Our uniforms and passcards had no power here (not that we tried) and we didn’t mind because it was nice to queue with the spectators and visitors. We had quite a chat too, they were all interested in what we were doing, and we could share information about the stadium and the park. There were many who would be in the stadium this evening, so we took great delight in letting them know just how good it would be in there.
And the queue didn’t take too long. We made a point of chatting with our fellow Gamesmakers both in the queue and those managing the queue, again many of them wouldn’t see any events or the inside of a single venue, but they were still smiling and enjoying their experience.

And soon we were inside, crikey this place was huge and full, hundreds of people in here, but the shelves were well stacked, and we made our way further into this cavern of Olympics stuff.
We had a sort of idea what we wanted, but it was nice to look around and browse a bit too. Being honest, we couldn’t move that quickly anyway, there were just too many people here.

Inside the London 2012 Megastore

Inside the London 2012 Megastore

The London 2012 Megastore, bit large isn't it.

The London 2012 Megastore, bit large isn’t it.

There was plenty of things to buy, from badges to clothing to tea towels to pens to well almost anything you would want branded with an Olympics 2012 logo. I found a few bits and pieces for my Nice and Nephew, and a nice polo shirt for me. Well I wanted a souvenir to remember too, after all as we can see already my memory is starting to fade!
We made our way to the cash tills, another big queue here, but everyone was in good spirits, and there were plenty of cash tills, so we didn’t have to wait long.

And soon we were out, clutching our bags of goods, back out in the heat and the sunshine of the early evening. We had big grins on our faces, even if our wallets were lighter. We didn’t mind, after all, when would we be here again.

Well for me it would be sooner rather than later, but i’ll leave that for another day!

And we made our way out of the park on our way home. I would be back tomorrow, already eager to find out what the day would have in store for me.

And this is important, the number of shifts I had left was diminishing, only 4 more. This was not a good feeling as I waited at the station for my early morning train.

But that didn’t stop me from looking forwards to today. It had been 24 hours since my last shift, where I watched the 100 metres final, and although today would be an early morning shift, I was eager to find out what the day had in store for us.

This morning was cool, well cold if I am honest, and I had to wear my Olympic jacket at the station whilst I waited for my train to arrive. Still more Gamesmakers and tourists on the trains and tubes, and even more tourists would follow us off the tube at our stop, rather than listen to the announcements.

Olympic fever had taken over London and the country, and everyone was happy when I arrived at the Olympic park. Lots of megaphones, huge pink hands, and happy smiling faces. I tipped what was left of my water down a storm drain and made my way through the security checkpoint into the park.
Again this morning the park was heaving with spectators and Gamesmakers, and it was buzzing. Lots of excitement today. This was a key point, the London 2012 Olympics had instilled a very real sense of fun, togetherness and competition into the UK, everybody wanted to be a part of it, each individual was important, and this was something I would see again today.

I proceeded without hassle through the Gamesmaker check in, again, virtually empty, oh and for those of you wondering, still no sign of my hat! As I pointed out earlier, it was a chilly morning today, so no need for sun tan lotion as I picked up my booty. The rice crispy cakes were a tasty breakfast snack but they would let us only have one each, which i suppose was a good thing really!
I picked up my cup of coffee, noting that more Gamesmakers were in the canteen this morning, and made my way past the flame to our office. I say this because it was nice to view the flame, listening to it burn in the stillness of the early morning, long before many others would turn up.
I had heard stories from colleagues and friends of early shift starting times, but yet each morning when I arrived there would only be handfuls there. Not sure where the rest were each day, perhaps they were hiding?

I walked into the office with a cheery good morning to all, and had a quick look around for my hat. Still no sign, I was resigned to not seeing it again which was a shame, but I would cope, I think.

Another quick start, I finished my coffee and by 8am we were performing our rounds. The spectators were beginning to filter into the arena, and there were Gamesmakers manning the checkpoints, making sure we had all the correct levels of passcard. Which was fine, a good thing, but did mean that on occasion the routes we were taking would be off-limits. Particularly the athletes areas, for which we required an upgrade pass. This was not a problem, we had access to the upgrade passes when we needed them. However sometimes we would forget especially when we weren’t visiting those areas, but merely passing through, which often meant a longer walk around the area, or a trudge back to the IT office to pick up and upgrade pass.
And this was another important thing. These Gamesmakers were possibly some of the unluckiest of the lot. They were part of the Olympic stadium team but were tasked with manning checkpoints, and not the ones outside with the public, or even the ones at the entrances to the park or the stadium. These Gamesmakers manned internal checkpoints, the ones used to restrict passage to the athletes areas, or the media and press areas, and even sometimes the lifts. And they sat there, only 10 metres away from the action, they could hear it, but couldn’t see it, even on TV screens. These Gamesmakers were doing what I joked I would be doing, except instead of watching lights on a router or server, they were checking the passes of individuals passing through, not quite in a basement, but not outside either.
So I made sure that I and my fellow Gamesmakers and colleagues always spoke to them, always took time for a chat and to recognise what they were doing. They didn’t seem to mind doing their roles, and I hope that they felt a little more appreciated when we took the time to recognise them.

We completed our rounds, everything was ok this morning, and made our way back to the IT office.
We had been warned about the long periods of time we would spend cooped up in our IT office, told to bring books and alternative things to do, watching the TVs and the live streams in the IT office would be as much as we would see of the events.

But this was no longer correct, things had changed!
As you know so far we had been able to watch some of the events on Sunday night, and I got to watch the final of the 100 metres final. So would it be the same today we wondered? Would we be split up into groups to man our IT desks on the tribunes, next to the press and media, for parts of the day?

Nope.

Today would change again. Today we would be split up into groups, one group responsible for the upper tribunes, and one group responsible for the lower tribunes. And what about our shifts? We didn’t have any, we would be out there for the entire time, from the first event to the last event of the morning.
I pinched myself again, to make sure I was awake. Not only did we have practically the free run of the Olympic Stadium, but today, I would be sitting outside, watching the events (and waiting for any faults of course) in some of the best seats in the stadium. This was going to be a good day.

I picked up a slot in the lower tribunes this morning, and we made our way up there. It was cool out there in the stadium and I was pleased I had my jacket.
Relatively quiet on the faulting front, we sat watching the events and checking the systems, we could interrogate the media information system from here, finding out details about the athletes, their previous best times and more. We also had a range of live feeds from the TV cameras that we could watch. We were having a great time.
But it was cold, and although we were in our Gammesmaker jackets, we were still chilly. Luckily though, as we were in the press and media areas, we also had access to the complimentary beverages, which included free tea and coffee, and that was welcome this morning, as I nipped off to make a few cups, bringing them back for the rest of the team. Delicious and warm, we were lucky Gamesmakers.

We saw some fantastic events during the day, but soon enough our time would come to an end. We couldn’t believe it, all of a sudden it was after 12 and the events finished. But we didn’t of course, after a quick cursory check for any faults in the area, we were back down to the IT office before being dispatched for lunch.
On return from lunch we were back up and around the stadium, checking machines and replenishing stocks of spare screens and PCs to our squirrel stores near to the lower and upper tribune areas, ready in case we needed them in a rush.
We also spent some time in the stores too, not been there for a few days, but this afternoon we took some time tidying it all up again, starting to get ready for when it would be needed again for removal of the equipment. Another reminder that we only had a few days left to go.

And then our shift came to an end, and we handed over the baton to the evening crew. If they too were going to sit outside they were in for a treat tonight, some fantastic events were scheduled, lucky lot!