So the last event of the London 2012 Olympic Games had just finished, but there was still a lot more to see and do in the Olympic stadium, and the crowd wouldn’t be going anywhere for a bit either!

Although the events had finished, the night was not yet over and we still had a lot of the medals ceremonies to complete, but no one was going anywhere, we all wanted to stay and witness the closure of one of the best nights of sports in our lives.

I’m not sure how it must have felt for the athletes, but we were all waiting eagerly for the medal ceremonies to start. Keen to properly recognise them for their hard work tonight, years of training paying off in that one moment under the spotlight. Most of them were making their way through the round of TV and media interviews, and we would have to wait a bit for some of the medal ceremonies to start, but none of us minded we were looking forward to it all, and it was a nice pleasant if a little chilly night too.

We watched many medal ceremonies taking place before us, and we stood for all the national anthems. Although we were working there, it was important that we joined in and showed our respect for all the nationalities that were being represented.

Soon it was time for the medallists from the 4×100 metres final team to take to the podium. The crowd were in awe of what they had seen tonight, and richly rewarded all the teams who received their medals. Of course the crowds biggest cheer was reserved for the winners, the Olympic champions and new world record holders!
And they celebrated in style, once the national anthem had finished, each one of them stayed on their podium place and performed their unique poses for the crowd, who lapped it all up, we all did, the stadium was lit up by thousands of camera flashes as we tried to capture the spirit and the emotion of the evening. But we couldn’t capture the noise, that would just have to stay part of our memories.

There was still more to come, the 10,000 metres final medal ceremony. We had waited the entire evening for this, and now we would be rewarded.

It was time for Mo to step onto the podium, the number one spot, and the crowd went wild again. It was almost as if every single person there had kept something back a bit earlier, because the noise seemed even louder that earlier. I couldn’t believe it, but we all loved him, and it showed, again everyone in the stadium was standing up, even the press and media, the camera teams, the presenters the whole lot.

We sang our national anthem, loudly and with effort and enthusiasm, and of course totally worshipped Mo. It was his moment, he was number one, and we made sure that he knew it!

And then it was over, he stepped off the podium, and made his way to the press who were waiting trackside to speak to him. The stadium remained full though, no one had left yet, they were all still straining to catch another glimpse of Mo.
Then all of a sudden mid way through his interview with the press, he was joined by a fellow athlete.

Usain Bolt, who had only an hour ago run across the finish line for the 4×100 metres performing the MoBot came out of the press and media interview area in one of the stadium tunnel entrances where he was being interviewed and joined Mo.
He hugged Mo and grinning they both chatted with each other, congratulating each other on their wins I hope!

And then, we were witness to a scene that appeared in so many photographs sent around the world, appearing on TV, in papers and magazines. Mo and Usain on the top step of the medal rostrum, each performing the others signature pose. An event that we were lucky to see live, in the flesh, there in front of us. A fitting end to the evenings events, and the London 2012 Olympics.

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And that was it, the end. Well not really.

Yes the spectators were now leaving, but we still had work to do. We had all the PCs and screens to shut down for the evening, which we proceeded to do. There was still quite a few of us about, and most of us had been outside in the tribunes watching the final events, so it didn’t take us long, and within about 30 minutes we were back in our IT room for the last time.

We still had some stuff to do, so we packed up a few items, and generally tidied the place up. None of us really wanted to leave or say good bye, and we agreed to keep in touch, taking notes of e-mail addresses so that we could stay in contact and relive our memories.
We took and posed for photos whilst we were in the office, making sure we captured as much as we could before we left for the final time. And we readied ourselves to leave, making sure we had all our stuff to take home with us. But before we would leave, our IT manager suggested an idea, lets get out there onto the track and get some group photos. We all agreed that this was a great idea, promptly dropped out belongings and made our way to the entrance tunnel (where the flame was) and made our way out into the stadium.

But there was a problem, before we could get out onto the track, we were stopped, by an official who forcibly informed us that as the closing ceremony was being set up, no one would be permitted onto the track. We explained that we only wanted to take a few group photos, but she was clear, even with our pass levels, we were not permitted onto the track tonight.

Undeterred we hatched a plan, we would still get onto the track tonight, but via a different route. We headed upstairs to the flame viewing area and took some group photos there first.

Some of the great team I got to work with.

Some of the great team I got to work with.

We took lots of photos, far more than I can show here, but we made sure that we captured everyone and made sure that each camera had some photos from the evening on them.

And unchallenged, we made our way down to the track. It was busy down there, lots of things going on, lots of machinery bringing in the closing ceremony set, so we didn’t hand around for long, but we again got some pictures , and walked around a bit, until we got back to the relative safety of the media and TV areas, and we still had work to do!

My feet on the London 2012 Olympic track

My feet on the London 2012 Olympic track

We spent the rest of the evening packing up some of the PCs and screens that were no longer required. Although the closing ceremony was to be televised, many of the media and TV companies were packing up and many of the shots of the closing ceremony would be supplied by the OBS rather than the TV companies own cameras and systems. So we let them pack up, and worked around them, although to be honest, most had already upped and left.

So we continued our work, packing up and making sure everything was neat and tidy. We took some more pictures, and we got a few pics of us on the track, and then before we knew it we had finished our tasks and we could make our way down to the office.
Some of us picked up some left over booty on our way, mainly the press event guides and the odd few bits left out and about, but not too much.
We took a final look back over our shoulders at our workplace for the last 4 weeks, and revelled in the sight before us. It had been a fantastic time, probably one of the times of our lives, we had seen and experience so much and enjoyed it so much. We would be sad to leave it behind, but our time there had been epic and would provide so many memories for such a long time and while part of me wished I could be there as part of the Paralympic team, another part of me was pleased that someone else would get to work here and see the amazing sights, feeling the amazing atmosphere.

Using the press and media lifts for the last time, we made our way back downstairs. The door people had now long gone, only us and the closing ceremony crew were still there and our passage through the stadium was easier again.

We arrived back in our office, most of us worn out, but happy, and sad too. We surveyed our office, took some final snaps, and packed away all our goodies. We noted down e-mail addresses and agreed to keep in touch (or at least try too) and said our goodbyes. We collected our final few extra goodies, pin badges (if we had completed a number of shifts we could get a bronze silver or gold IT team member badge, pretty rare these ones!) and other bits we may have snaffled!

And then it was time to leave, for the final time. A few of us picked up our stuff and left together, through our entrance tunnel past the flame for the final time. I took a few cheeky snaps of the props for the closing ceremony being taken out onto the field of play, and left to the sound of the security team shouting at me not to take any pictures! Oh well, sorry!

Making our way out of the stadium, past the security gates and the entrance ways for the last time, we stopped a few times to take pictures and take in the view for the last time. It was a beautiful night, and a fitting end to our time there.

And then, we were outside the park, making our way to Stratford station, a few final snaps, and goodbyes and then there I was alone in the station (well there were lots of others there, but all my colleagues had gone). A few final pictures of the station, and then I was on a tube heading south.

The rest of the journey was largely uneventful, and I sat contemplating what I had been part of. A truly amazing time, and I genuinely wished the Paralympic games volunteers the best, hoping that they too would enjoy the stadium as much as I had.

And that was it, well sort of, could I really keep away????

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