Monday, 13 August 2012

An Accreditation to gloat about

Back when i got into this whole project i understood that i had been given quite a special role ( only 2500 of us out of the 70000 volunteers work directly with the athletes) and that my accreditation was quite powerful. 

This is the post where i gloat and show off. Be prepared and indulgent.

The power of the accreditation is mostly in the "ALL". This means i could go to ALL Olympic Venues with the same access rights as a spectator. No behind the scenes, warm up zones or press centers, but hey i was living with ALL the athletes in the Village, so i got plenty of behind the scenes and my day job is about working with press, so i'm not fussed.

Now, officially, we could go only to venues while we were on shift and if our delegation needed us there...but there are no specific checks on this.


So i was the first of my team to discover the loophole and i must say the first time i went to the Basketball Arena, i wasn t very confident, but once that worked like a dream, there was no holding me back. To alleviate my sense of guilt though, i made a point of talking to a volunteer at the site explaining honestly why i was there for free and helping out as i could on the site, mostly with spectator management. and to be fair that was really nice, because i got a sense of what the Olympics meant for spectators and other groups of volunteers and not just Athletes and team officials. Not trying to justify myself here though, ( well maybe a bit!!), but saying i tried to make the free perk into something of value to LOCOG (ok, stopping here, completely justifying myself!!)

Thus i saw (...helped at :-)) :

- 5 nights at the Olympic Stadium including Super Saturday and its magic hour for Britain ( Ennis, Rutherford and Mo Farah), the 100m evening and the 200m evening...and of course the sessions where Haiti athletes were involved.( Men :Triple Jump, 110 hurdles, 800m, Women : 200m and 400m) 

- 1 evening at the Basketball Arena - Czech Republic against Croatia for women in the the early round...surprisingly fun to watch.

- 1 afternoon at Excel to meet up with Pauline and Meumeu for Women's boxing ( first time at the Olympics), something i would never have paid money for but came out feeling really positive about as i was lucky enough to be sat next to 2 British girls who loved boxing and explained to me what is so cool about it...also was the semi finals day where Katie Flanagan boxed and so half of Ireland was there singing and being incredibly lovely and loud.

- 1 afternoon at the Aquatics center...truly a beautiful building, watching synchronised swimming. Why aren't men allowed to compete in this?? that would be true gender equality, and i m sure the profile of the sport would go up and more people would realise how incredibly physically demanding it is.

- 2 afternoons at the North Greenwich Arena ( the O2 for those who know London) watching gymnastics and trampoline...whoop whooop

Quite cool, right???

They clamped down at the end of the Games, as they realised people were doing this more and more and all 3 of my team-mates were turned out of a venue...not me! 

So yes, i experienced the Olympics inside and out.

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