Opening Ceremony 27th July 2012

Wow—what a night!

The opening ceremonony of the 30th Olympic Games – London 2102 was most certainly a night to remember!

Laughter and tears mingled with poetry, history and futures hopes and dreams to create a spectale that we wont forget in a hurry.

Can’t wait to see the Closing Ceremony because in the words of Danny Boyle – ‘You ain’t seen nothing yet!’

A Special Day – a Medal Makers’ Diary

‘Just called in to the Medal Makers office on Wednesday morning, 4th July. Should have realised it was an auspicious date. There did seem to rather a lot of police around and I had to be let in to a locked building.

 Alex was running hither and thither but showed me the basics of the blog software and I settled down to familiarise myself with the software.  After a short while Richard came in and said ‘come and see’. It turned out we had visits from Princess Anne and Sir Stephen Redgrave to watch the basketball team in training.

There were three Medal Makers volunteers who had been working at the Customer Service desk. ‘We didn’t realise anything special would be happening until several policemen arrived with sniffer dogs!’ said one. The policemen did a sweep and told the volunteers to lock the doors. One of them mentioned that Princess Anne was coming.  That set them buzzing and there was a quick clear up of coffee cups, and straightening of purple t-shirts!  They decided perhaps they didn’t need to practice a curtsey!

A short time later we went downstairs hoping they would let us out and found ourselves in the foyer at just the right time.  Someone came out and asked if we had a bag to put a presentation in.  Alex, with quick thinking, saw that I was holding a purple Medal Makers bag said ‘Quick empty that bag’. So Princess Anne is now the proud owner of my MM bag!! Even if it was carried by a Lady in Waiting!

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 When the Princess  left the sports hall we were all standing in a row, she came over to us for a chat!  She asked us what we were doing and if we were at the university all the time. Alex came over to help explain the Medal Makers role and how essential we were to the running of the preparation camp! She told the Princess that Georgina was helping with the laundry and she laughed and said she hoped they would buy her a new washing machine. The rest of us told her our roles and she asked if we lived locally and remarked that we were a real cross section and she was pleased to meet us. 

Then Sir Stephen Redgrave came out and  one of the volunteers asked if she could have a photo with him. He was really nice and we all posed while his companion took our two cameras and took the photo.

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All in all quite a morning for the volunteers in the Medal Makers’ office!’

A Medal Maker’s Torch Day Diary – Janet Stevenson

It was an early start at 7.00am but the lecture hall in the Edward Herbert Building was a sea of pink as, in spite of the cold drizzle all 325 volunteers were wearing their pink T-shirts. 

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After briefing we set off to our various locations. David (my husband) and I were in Sector 15 which was the University Stadium. Quite a long walk on this vast campus but interesting to see how cord marking had been set up along the route to mark public access.  By Elvyn Richards Hall there were cleverly stacked straw bales for sitting and standing on. We saw some Chinese students standing on top and waving union jacks while being photographed by friends.  Should make interesting viewing back home!

Once in sight of the stadium volunteers were posted along the route.  The stadium was the venue for school parties and the children were in a high state of excitement eagerly accepting the university flags, band-sticks and leaflets which we were handing out.

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The teachers, police and paramedics were all in good humour and the atmosphere was fun. The drizzle had stopped and the sun came out briefly.

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 We were given the job of ‘holding the gate’ so only those with wrist bands, official kit, such as the GB Volley Ball team, their coaches, the aspiring athletes and coaches, hoping for a place in Rio in 2016, and a list of official guests were allowed in. If guests didn’t have official ID we were to put a blue pen cross on their hands which caused some laughs.

The advance carnival parade came down the hill and into the stadium, past the flashing balloon flame and through the gate we were ‘guarding’, which gave us real close up views of their fantastic costumes.

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Then the real star of our section arrived, Audrey Cooper with her torch ready for its ‘kiss’. She is the coach for the Team GB’s Women’s volleyball team and comes from East Leake. The whole team had come in full kit to support her – and we had let them in!!

One of the Medal Makers volunteers had the exciting task of holding the ‘Torches Kiss Here’ banner and being right up close to the transfer of the flame. The flame runner for the previous stage came down the hill carried into the stadium by Johnathan Eley a winter Olympics speed skating world record holder to meet the array of cameras.

Audrey then started her run and proceeded out of our gate and down to Sir Denis Rooke building.

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We stayed to see the children leave safely, then made our way back up campus where a variety of other activities were getting underway.

We had a fantastic day and were sorry to leave at the end.

and yet another exciting visitor!

On Thursday 5th July some of the Medal Makers got a pleasant surprise when they were greeted by a visit from David Cameron, who was on campus as part of an official VIP visit.

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He spoke powerfully about the social legacy that he wishes the Games to leave, with particular reference to inspiring a culture of volunteering.

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David Cameron who was at Loughborough to deliver a speech highlighting the important economic and social benefits the Olympic and Paralympic Games will deliver across the United Kingdom.

Another Exciting Visitor

If Her Royal Highness visiting wasn’t enough the Medal Makers volunteers also got to meet sporting royalty on Wednesday 4th July!

Sir Steve Redgrave, who was accompanying the Royal entourage, kindly posed for a picture with us!

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An Exciting Visitor

The Medal Makers have had a busy week!

The Olympic Torch Relay on Tuesday was just the start of the excitement to come.

Wednesday 4th July heralded a special visitor to the University Campus, Her Royal Highness Princess Anne.

She toured the Campus and as a part of that made a visit to the Sir David Wallace Sports Hall to watch the Men’s basketball team training.

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She spoke to a few of the Medal Makers, much to their delight.

‘it was so exciting meeting Her Royal Highness. She said ‘good morning’ to us and gave us a lovely smile. It has been a fantastic day and one which I will never forget!’ said Valerie Wilson one of the Medal Makers on duty when the Princess Royal arrived.

The Olympic Torch Relay

The Olympic Torch Relay came through Loughborough University campus on Tuesday 3rd July supported by Medal Makers volunteers.

The event could not have proceeded as smoothly as it did without the Medal Makers’ help and support and so a huge thank you to all of the volunteers!

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The event was covered in the local and national news and the sea of pink T-shirts featured heavily in that coverage