You know the drill by now.

We said goodbye to the day shift, and wished them well, it was unlikely we would ever see any of them again, so we parted like old friends agreeing that we should all meet up one day, and maybe just maybe we should volunteer for Glasgow, or Rio. Some would be back for the Paralympics, but most wouldn’t, and a couple would be here tomorrow night for the closing ceremony, lucky devils. I would not, and like many others here tonight, this would be my last shift here.

We were still a bit early for our shifts though, and as the morning shift had completed all the activities we had about 30 mins to fill before we were needed. I showed a couple the snaps I had taken of the flame to my fellow gamesmakers, and one was keen to have her own picture taken next to the flame too and being the gentleman I am, I was happy to help. We made our way to the flame area, and took a few pictures. I had kept my camera with me, so took a few more, focussing this time on the area where we would be working later. As the press and media cameras were all located here, it wasn’t often that people got to see this area, so I was keen to make sure it was captured.

The Flame, Union Jack and Olympic flag

The Flame, Union Jack and Olympic flag


The press and media area, showing the upper tribunes

The press and media area, showing the upper tribunes


The press and media area showing the lower tribunes.

The press and media area showing the lower tribunes.

We mooched around for a bit, but we couldn’t stay long, we had to be back in the office, ready for our evening briefing.
Our briefing kicked off, tonight would be a biggie, with some large events, many finals tonight, including the 10k metres and the 4×100 metres final. There were others too, and some medal ceremonies from earlier that also needed to be completed.
We were told to be on our best behaviour, as tonight was so big, and also that it would be a late one, so be prepared.

We received our tasks from our IT manager for the last time. I would be in the upper tribunes tonight, I didn’t mind the view was fantastic, and I knew that I would experience lots from up there, and be able to take some brilliant pictures.
And on the subject of pictures, we all got together in the office and took some pics there too, not beautiful, but key memories, of friends and colleagues and well, stuff in general.
And off we went, off to our last shifts, taking what we needed, jackets drinks, cameras etc and made our way out of the office, past the door keepers, making sure we said hello, and smiled and chatted with them for a bit. And we were on our way, up to the tribunes, taking it all in for the final shift.

We picked up some refreshments and made our way to the IT support area for the evening. Most of us had brought our cameras with us, and we took as many pictures as we could. Here is one of me, I know I haven’t shared any with me in them yet, but here is proof I was there (yes that is me, I promise!)

Me, honest, and this was our technical area for the evening, a fantastic view too.

Me, honest, and this was our technical area for the evening, a fantastic view too.

We settled down for the evening, ready and waiting for any faults to come in. We generally got the odd one, but largely because of all the preparation that we carried out each time, our actual shifts in the tribunes during competition time were largely quiet. We had already dealt with most of the problems by the time competition had started, and we were so well versed now, that most problems could be resolved in minutes, even if we needed to swap out equipment. Tonight was no exception, well prepared and well versed we quickly fixed any of the issues that arose and a lot of time tonight was spent watching the events below us.

We took lots of pictures too, of the events, and colleagues and our surroundings. We also kept in touch with other events happening in other stadiums. Tonight was also the final of the diving, and although our systems couldn’t show us the events in the other arenas, we were able to keep abreast of progress via some of the apps on our mobiles, which meant that we were well informed of what was going on in the neighbouring arenas.

By the time competition started, the stadium was full to bursting, every seat filled, the press and media areas were full, and when I looked around, I couldn’t see any empty seats, it was an amazing sight.
And the spectators were in a fantastic mood, cheering every event, getting behind every athlete in the stadium, acknowledging that they were watching the best of the best, in the world.

I mentioned before, how the spectators would cheer everyone, and show their appreciation, and tonight I would see it a few times.
The first time was when Mo Farah’s time came to shine. He was already an Olympic champion, and he was quite rightly greeted like one. The sound was incredible when he walked onto the track, but this was nothing, it paled into insignificance against what we were about to hear and see.
Again the crowd fell silent as the we watched them take their places on the track. You could hear a pin drop. And then Bang, the gun goes off, and the noise from the crowd could rival a plane taking off. But this time it was different, you could hear the cheering move around the stadium as Mo was running around the track. Every time he went past, the noise would increase, and you could follow him and the noise as he continued to run.
But this was nothing, a mere prelude to what would come.
The final lap. By this time the crowd were in a total frenzy, the cheering had escalated to almost beyond comfortable, no longer was it following Mo as he ran around the track, it was all around, and as he came along the final straight, it seemed it couldn’t get any louder. Well until he crossed the line that is, and then I am sure we almost took the roof off the stadium, and I reckon you could have heard us in the Shard (with the windows closed!).

And I saw something I hadn’t seen before.

We were used to the spectators giving standing ovations for many events, not all but certainly a few, and this was no exception. We knew that the press and media had to work hard out there, often in not the best of conditions and therefore although they noticed what was going on, they would rarely cheer or join in with the celebrations, which was understandable, there were there to do a job and many of them were long standing professionals, and you could hardly cheer mid way through an important broadcast now could you! But this time was different, the spirit of the London 2012 Olympics had taken a firm hold, this time for the first time in my time there, we witnessed all the press and media standing too, every last one, standing, clapping and cheering. It was one of my most memorable times there, a vision that will stay with me for the rest of my life, everyone who could stand did, and everyone regardless of their nationality cheered and celebrated. It was a very moving spectacle.

And there was more. The spectators were in the mood tonight, and for every final they cheered and acknowledged the performances of the world class athletes before them.
And then

Well you knew it was coming, if you have been following this blog, you know what to expect!

Usain Bolt
The spectators love him, and he loves the spectators. Cheering his every move his every action. He was playing to the crowd, and the Gamesmakers on the track, and everyone loved it.
Tonight he would again perform for us, showing us just how good he was and also how much of a team player he was too.
The noise was immense, this was the last event of the night, and the crowd had already been whipped up into a frenzy by the earlier events, every one.
Silence as they took their positions on the track, waiting for the starter to fire his pistol, and then wham, a wall of noise, cheering, willing, demanding a good race, and they got it.
By the time Usain Bolt took the baton, the entire stadium was on their feet. I could hardly hear now, the noise was so loud, I had ringing in my ears.
And the team won, a thrilling final, the crowd remained wild, still standing they gave another standing ovation, and as Usain crossed the line, he again showed us all what a truly nice person he is.
How? Why?
He ran across the line, performing the MoBot.
What an individual, here he was helping his team to win the 4×100 metres, and yet he takes the time not to revel in his own glory, but to recognise the performance of a fellow athlete in a completely different event. He again showed us, that yes he does perform to the crowd, but underneath it all, he is a really nice person.

Oh and they broke the world record too, just to add some icing onto the cake.

And it didn’t end there, oh no, not by a long way, although the events had finished, there was still a lot going on, and a lot more to come.

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