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Life

#SaveTheSurprise

Last night I was one of the first people to see the Olympic Games Opening Ceremony — Even its creator, Danny Boyle, hadn’t seen it the whole way through before last nights “Technical Rehearsal”

I’m not going to upload any images or give anything away just yet as visitors were asked to keep what they saw a secret, using the hashtag #SaveTheSurprise.

However if you come back to the blog after the real thing on Friday night I will have plenty of pictures and videos of the technical rehearsal to share with you!

Danny

Categories
Life

The Olympic Torch Comes To Dunstable

Today the Olympic Torch came to my home town of Dunstable, for some reason it was scheduled for 7:30am — but it was well worth getting up for.

The first thing that came into sight were the Police motorbikes, to be fair all of the officers from Bedfordshire police looked genuinely happy and seemed helpful, even high-fiving people as they drove past and holding peoples babies for photos. After the bikes was an Olympics car and bus. The bus held about 10 back-up golden torches and some of the relay runners who were going to be running the torch later in the day.

The Olympic BMW
The Olympic BMW
The Olympic Bus containing Torches and Runners
The Olympic Bus containing Torches and Runners

Before you see the actual torch there is a precession of several vans from each of the relay sponsors – Coca Cola, Samsung and Lloyds TSB. To be honest it sort of annoys me that nothing can be pure nowadays and without an “official drink sponsor”, “official banking partner” etc., but I understand why it has to happen — these games aren’t cheap and to be honest neither is something as “simple” as a torch relay.

The First of the Sponsor Vehicles - Samsung
The First of the Sponsor Vehicles – Samsung
The Second Sponsor Vehicle - Coca Cola
The Second Sponsor Vehicle – Coca Cola
The First "Sighting" of the Flame ;)
The First “Sighting” of the Flame 😉
The Over Enthusiastic Women from Coca Cola "WE ARE COCA COLA"
The Over Enthusiastic Women from Coca Cola “WE ARE COCA COLA”
Finally The Last Sponsor Vehicle - Lloyd's TSB
Finally The Last Sponsor Vehicle – Lloyd’s TSB

You can see a lot of effort went into planning the whole thing, getting a big enough police presence and making sure everyone had fun, safely.

Police Motorcycle - He later went on to 'High 5' members of the crowd!
Police Motorcycle – He later went on to ‘High 5’ members of the crowd!

After all that we finally got our first glimpse of the torch itself with a runner who we were told was called Sarah.

The Olympic Torch - Dunstable - Sarah
The Olympic Torch – Dunstable – Sarah
The Olympic Torch - Dunstable - Sarah
The Olympic Torch – Dunstable – Sarah
And off she goes...
And off she goes…

Once the woman had gone past us my Dad and I ran through an area known as the Quadrant to get to the other main road in the town, just in time to see the torch handed over from Sarah to a man who was disabled from the neck down — it was quite an inspirational moment.

The Start of the Handover
The Start of the Handover
Handover - New Torch Being Lit
Handover – New Torch Being Lit
And we're off again!
And we’re off again!

And here is a video of the Torch being ran by the man

A thoroughly enjoyable day for all! I look forward to seeing the torch again soon as I was recently informed that thanks to my Olympics games maker interview I have been given a ticket to the rehearsal of the Olympic Games Opening Ceremony, which will be absolutely fascinating! I can’t wait!

Danny

Categories
Life

Olympic Games “Games Maker” Interview

Today was an long, yet exciting day. It could almost have ended in disaster several times, but in the end I felt it was a massive success.

It all started at 9:00 am with me getting up and dressed in my suit (got to look professional after all!) about 20 minutes later I was on the bus heading to the Hull Paragon Interchange Train Station for my 10:30 Hull Trains train to London Kings Cross.

Unfortunately I’m currently in the middle of a long spell of… issues with train companies and today was no different. Upon arriving at the interchange I was told it was shut for an indeterminate amount of time due to a gas leak, I was a bit annoyed by this but I took the opportunity for a Burger King break, almost as soon as I’d finished my burger the train station had re-opened and my train left only 25 minutes late, so alls well that ends well!

The train journey was uneventful, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that First Hull Trains offer free wi-fi for the duration of a journey — and I thought East Coasts offer of 15 minutes for free was good!

To get to ExCel, where the interview was taking place, I had to take 3 more trains, The Northern Line Tube from Kings Cross to Bank, a Driverless Docklands Light Railway train from Bank to Canning Tow, and another DLR train from Canning Town to Custom House for ExCel.

The feature image of this Blog Post is the Western Entrance to ExCel but it doesn’t quite show you just how massive the building is — it took me about 25 minutes to walk from the west end to the east end! After doing this and looking around for a bit I turned up to the Olympic Committee section of the ExCel building, still an hour early. Fortunately I was seen an hour early.

Whilst waiting around for my interview I was somewhat perplexed by the sheer amount of McDonalds advertising for what is supposed to be an event which encourages exercise and living well (and some people would argue fast food was counter-active to this). The “informal interview process” is outlined in the below picture:

The Structure of the Interview Process
The Structure of the Interview Process

Essentially:

  1. You check in by providing your name and a form of ID. You then get your picture taken for any further Olympic ID
  2. You are then held in the “Explore” area where you can read some information on the running of the Olympics and view some more fast food ads before being given a talk about possible jobs roles, ranging from camera operator to web design
  3. Once the interview group before you has finished you then go to the “Cinema” to watch some adverts telling you how Cadbury is the treat sponsor of the Olympic games (again, counter productive some would argue) before being given interview advice by some comedians and dames.
  4.  You have your interview where they ask questions about why you feel you would make a good volunteer.

I felt the whole process felt well and the interviewer said that it was “Great to see someone with ambition, who is so well spoken” and that they had “Enjoyed interviewing” me 🙂 So that can’t be bad.

After the interview I had to wait around for a few hours so I treated myself to a Nandos and a walk around London, including having a look at the brand new Skyscraper, the Shard before catching my train home. A great day all round, even if around 9 hours of it was spent on Public Transport. Below are some more images which I took throughout the day: