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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