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!

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