24 January 2013

Tom studied Biological Sciences and graduated in 1975. He was a member of Bowland College.

I had the pleasure and privilege of being an Olympic Gamesmaker for the full two weeks. I know bits of Greenwich and Blackheath better than the back of my hand now and I can confirm that the meridian passes through all sorts of weather come August…

The atmosphere was everything the media hype says it was. Happy, engaged and positive volunteers from all walks of life came together and even the middle-aged men like me felt really at home – the uniform proved a real icebreaker between us, even on the Tube. Just one thought… the paid staff, mostly of the job creation scheme genre, were, if anything, the weak link. At the grass roots of the Gamesmakers there was a mixture of paid and unpaid staff and you needed a degree in Olympic credential reading to know the difference at first sight. Except that the more experienced, the happier, the more professional and the more reliable were the volunteers. Even more consistently happy, it seemed, were the spectators!

I even managed to watch an hour of the modern pentathlon… Particularly chuffed that on the final day when a team leader went off sick they asked me to step up, take the responsibility and wear the ear piece!