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CPT Games Makers

Audrey - London 2012 Games Maker


Dean - London 2012 Games Maker


Fintan - London 2012 Games Maker


Haydn - London 2012 Games Maker


John - London 2012 Games Maker


Karen - London 2012 Games Maker


Mat - London 2012 Games Maker


Sally - London 2012 Games Maker


Voy - London 2012 Games Maker


CPT TfL Ambassador

Tim - TfL Ambassador London 2012


Diary of a London 2012 Games Maker

London 2012 Games Maker blog


What's an hour?

Day 16 and my first Olympic distance triathlon of the year (Bexhill was turned into a much hated duathlon!) at Bewl. You can read my report on the August news page.

The London 2012 triathlon course was pretty much flat, whereas Bewl definitely wasn't (and the swim was short), but the Brownlees were still just over an hour faster than me (and 30 years younger!).

I watched the closing ceremony from start to finish and thoroughly enjoyed most of it. I'm really sad it's all over, very glad I played a very small part, and looking forward to getting back on schedule with my training plan, so Audrey doesn't have to nag me anymore!


Olympic trivia

Day 15 and my Games Maker duties are over. There are a few facts I forgot to include in my previous entries so thought I'd share with you now.

Wembley Arena, originally the Empire Pool, was built in 1934 as the swimming and diving venue for the Empire Games (now the Commonwealth Games).

The pools were used for the London 1948 Olympics and still remain under the floor of the current site.

The venue is now synonymous with live music but also hosts snooker, darts, hockey and wrestling events.

It is London’s second largest indoor arena after the O2.

There are 44 steps leading up to Wembley Park station from Olympic Way and I don't have to climb them for a very long time!

Karen outside Wembley Park station


Back to the day job!

Day 14 and my last Games Maker shift at Wembley Arena. Today was the second of the rhythmic gymnastics qualification rotations, today with clubs and ribbons.

I started the day seating spectators, then was on toilet duty, men to the left, ladies to the right, then back to seating, where I was able to watch some of the performances.

Individual competitors performed with clubs and ribbons while the teams performed with three ribbons and two hoops. I managed to stay awake today!

Unfortunately neither the GBR individual or team qualified for the finals which take place over the weekend, with rhythmic gymnastics being one of the last events to finish before the closing ceremony. Any event that isn't complete by the time the closing ceremony starts will be null and void!

On leaving, I was presented with a 'Thank you' certificate and pin medal.

Day 14 - Rhythmic gymnastics


Bring back the badminton

Day 13 and I was back on duty at Wembley Arena for a slightly later start as there was only one session of rhythmic gymnastics today. I was back to my usual ‘front of house’ duties, checking tickets, seating spectators and answering any ticketing queries.

There was a completely different atmosphere in the Arena today, with a lot more country support for the gymnasts along with some varied, and often rousing, music to accompany the routines.  Today was the first round of the individual qualifications with each gymnast performing with the hoop and ball, and the team qualifications with teams of five all performing with balls.

Despite the music, the loud cheering and the gymnastic action I didn’t find this ‘sport’ inspiring and struggled to stay awake on my feet during the individual performances. My friends won’t be surprised at this turn of events as they know how easily I can fall asleep!

Once the spectators had left the area I was looking after, I was able to leave. I made my way to Wembley Park with the crowds, which I haven’t experienced before. Everyone seemed very happy in the evening sunshine and the underground trains coped very well with the numbers.

Unfortunately I forgot my camera today but you can see the action on the London 2012 website.

Day 13 - Rhythmic gymnastics


Another rest from Olympic duties

Day 12 already and my third day off. I had a lie-in, caught up with some housework then Bruce and I cycled the Downe loop this afternoon, in between watching various Olympic events on the television. After some dinner and more TV watching, I joined the CPT fartlek run in Crystal Palace Park.

As I’ve no Olympic activity to report today, I thought you might like to see what Games Makers have been rewarded with. We were given a small London 2012 bag, containing our reusable drinks bottle and an umbrella. As I’m on the Events Services Team, I’ve also been given an orange London 2012 vest, which I have to put on if there is an emergency in the venue. As well as our uniform, we were also given a Games Maker Swatch watch (currently selling on e-Bay).

Our accreditation is the most important piece of kit, as without this we won’t be allowed into the venue.  McDonalds presented each Games Maker with a Thank you card, which was stamped after so many shifts and we were awarded with a series of Games Maker pins and a souvenir relay baton (again available on e-Bay!).

Day 12 - Games Maker kit


Brownlees win first British Olympic triathlon medals

The men’s triathlon took place in Hyde Park on Day 11 with high hopes of the Brownlees (Alistair and Jonathon) picking up Britain’s first Olympic triathlon medals. I wasn’t lucky enough to get tickets in the Grandstand and, after watching the women’s triathlon in the park on Saturday, decided to head to the BT London Live arena to watch live coverage on the big screens.

We got right to the front and had an amazing view of the screen and were close enough to the live action to hear the roars of the crowds and the helicopters overhead filming aerial shots of the race and the crowds.

It was great to be able to see the swim and to get the full commentary so we knew exactly who was in the lead at all times.

After collapsing over the line, it was great to see Alistair and Gomez shake hands before Jonathan crossed the line and fell into brother Alistair’s arms for a celebratory hug. The crowd inside the arena and outside in the park were ecstatic.

We were all very concerned when there was a delay in the medals presentation but a huge cheer went up when they eventually came out and everyone in the arena stood and sang when the national anthem was played.

We later learnt that Alistair’s 10k run time was only 1:20 off Mo Farah’s winning 10000m run time and that’s after a 1500m swim and a 43k bike! I'm impressed!

Day 11 - Men's triathlon


A birthday day off!

Day 10, I’ve got a day off and it’s my birthday! Wembley Arena will undergo another facelift over the next three days, changing from badminton to a rhythmic gymnastics venue, ready for my next shift on Thursday 9 August.

I went for a run in Crystal Palace Park this morning and spotted one of their athletes strolling through the park wearing his Brazil kit.

I thought I’d keep an Olympic theme going and visited Kew Gardens to see the Olympic Rings flowerbeds. Disappointingly they can’t be seen from ground level but apparently the planes landing at Heathrow have an amazing aerial view!

We had a wonder around the David Nash installations then came home for another marathon London 2012 session on the television!

Day 10 - Kew Gardens


Last day of badminton

Day 9 and a slightly later start. I had no idea public transport didn't get going until after 06:30 on a Sunday morning! I was scheduled to start my shift at 06:45 but the first train from Norbury wasn't until 06:48! I was slightly concerned that those arriving late might be given the really rotten jobs!

I was once again seating spectators. This time to those who had been lucky enough to buy last minute tickets in the areas that had previously been reserved for the Olympic family, athletes and media/photographers.

I watched the men's singles and the men's doubles bronze medal matches before going for lunch, and then being sent home early as the next shift had arrived early, giving me time to get home to watch Andy Murray beat Roger Federer and win Olympic Gold!

Day 9 - Bronze medal badminton matches


A cheeky view of the women's triathlon

Day 8 and another early start, only this time to get to Hyde Park in time to find a good spot to watch the women's triathlon.

As we strolled through the park we spotted Haydn and Fintan in their Games Maker uniforms. Haydn directed us to the end of Serpentine Road, where we would be able to (just about) see some of the swim, then watch the bike and run laps. Unfortunately at 07:40 we were already too late for a front row view.

We managed to spot a few swimming caps and wetsuited arms in the distance but couldn't see who was who. Fortunately we were near some speakers so were able to hear the commentary.

We had a great view of the cycle laps and runs, including a cheeky view of Mateja Simic from Slovenia's trisuit which had suffered a malfunction somewhere out on the course, although she bravely continued and finished 37th.

We saw Yuliya Yelistratova from Ukraine pulled out of the race by a referree because she hadn't finished her bike leg and was lapped by the runners. She got a big round of applause as she dismounted her bike and walked away, we all felt very sorry for her as she only had about 800 metres to go and she would have made it back into transition and allowed to continue.

Helen Jenkins didn't get a medal but those who could actually see the finish were treated to a photo finish.

As I'd forgotten to pack the picnic, which I'd made the night before, we strolled up to Oxford Street for some lunch, disappointed but already looking forward to the men's race on Tuesday.

Day 8 the Women's Triathlon in Hyde Park


Danes win Bronze Medal match

Day 7 at Wembley Arena for a shorter shift now that we are down to semi-finals and finals. I still had an early start, 07:00 but finished at 12:30 (instead of 14:45).

I was positioned at the entrance for the Olympic Family and press seats. As a lot of these seats had been empty earlier in the week, tickets had been sold to the public, so we had to make sure only those with valid tickets were allowed in. It's quite tough having to turn people away who want to move for a better view when there are clearly seats available.

I met my first serious Olympic Pin Collector today. He was wearing a waistcoat completely covered in pins from the eight Olympic Games he's attended. He's not particularly interested in watching any sport, he just goes around buying, swapping and trading pins.

I was lucky enough to watch most of the mixed doubles bronze medal match, which was won by the Danish pair, Joachim Fischer and Christinna Pedersen. I was really pleased they won as I had watched them qualify in each round of the tournament.

As I was home earlier than usual, the sun was shining and I was feeling guilty about not doing as much training as I usually do, I did one of Audrey's turbo sessions in the garden while wishing I was at the Velodrome watching all the GB cycling action!

Day 7 the Danish mixed doubles team celebrating their bronze medal win


Best seats in the house

Day 6 of the badminton at Wembley Arena and I was once again showing spectators to their seats but in yet another position, which to my surprise and that of the lucky ticket holders proved to be the best seats available today.

Until today, matches have been played simultaneously on three courts but as we moved into the quarter and semi finals court 3 was removed and games were only played on court 1 & 2.  The block I was hosting sat right between court 1 & 2 on field of play level.

Once everyone was seated, I was able to enjoy the match close up and really appreciate the speed and agility of the athletes as well as getting a better understanding of how the game is played.

I was very surprised when one umpire wouldn’t allow a match to restart because an inch of towel was hanging over the side of the box competitors have to put their belongings into by the side of the court.

Apparently Prince Edward attended this morning’s session, but I didn’t spot him in the crowd.

Early morning starts (05:00) and long hours on my feet are taking their toll and I fell fast asleep on the train home this afternoon. I managed to wake up in time for my stop so didn’t end up travelling the length of the Jubilee Line to the Olympic Park in Stratford.

Day 6 badminton


CPT cheer Wiggins to Gold

Another day off from Games Maker duties, which luckily coincided with the Cycling Time Trials. Brian, Emily, Adam and I met up at Crystal Palace and cycled to Kingston to get a good viewing point.

We found a great spot in the centre of Kingston, where the road narrowed so riders had to slow slightly to take the bend, giving us a great view as they accelerated back out of the corner.

We were also surrounded by coffee bars, a Cornish pasty shop and a pub, what more could we ask for?!

The streets were packed from start to finish with the cheers preceding the riders and the biggest cheers of all for the British riders, Emma Pooley, Lizzie Armistead, Chris Froome and Bradley Wiggins.

Cancellara was the last rider so once we'd cheered him through we headed to the nearest pub to watch Wiggins cross the finish line at Hampton Court Palace. The pub erupted and when Bradley stood on the podium to collect his gold medal everyone sang the national anthem.

We cycled home in the sunshine. Was it my imagination or were the drivers more considerate of cyclists than usual thanks to the wonderful Wiggins winning Gold?!

Day 5 watching the cycling time trial


View from the other side

For my last two Games Maker shifts I have been positioned on the South Side of Wembley Arena but today I saw the action from a different angle on the North side. Unsurprisingly the seating blocks, rows and numbers are all exactly the same, they just have an ‘N’ in front of them instead of an ‘S’!

Initially I was showing spectators to their seats, but then took over from another Games Maker who had spent the session sitting at the bottom of a staircase saying ‘Gents to the left’ and ‘Ladies to the right’. I was very glad when that duty was complete. I returned to the Arena and once everyone was seated, was able to watch some of the badminton.

After my morning break I was put on accreditation duties outside the Arena. This involves checking that people coming to the VIP/Olympic Family entrance have the right access on their entry passes before allowing them into the Arena. The minute I stepped outside the door it started to rain. I spent 45 minutes under a large London 2012 umbrella and checked just three passes (no-one famous). I also had to stop one gentleman who just wanted to use the toilet!

After lunch, to the disappointment of a very noisy and supportive crowd, I watched Japan's Sayaka Sato beat British athlete, Susan Egelstaff. My shift finished at 14:45 and I travelled home on an empty underground train.

Day 4 at Wembley Arena


Three Wangs and a Wong

Day 3 of the London 2012 Olympics and I was back on duty at Wembley Arena after another early start. My walk to ‘work’ takes me along Olympic Way and past Wembley Stadium. 

Today’s order of play included a men’s singles match with Wing Ki Wong from Hong Kong, a women’s singles match played against Xin Wang from China vs Rena Wang of the USA, and another women’s singles match with Yihan Wang. 

I was again showing people to their seats and making sure they sat in the right places. I also spent a lot of time manning the exit doors as the Arena has to be kept at a certain temperature, apparently the shuttlecock goes faster in the warm, and airflow has to be kept to a minimum. The double doors can only be opened if the heavy blackout curtains on the outside are closed, to stop light and control airflow in the Arena.  The lights above the field of play ensure the minimum amount of shadow but also give off an incredible amount of heat.

I can’t believe how tiring it is standing for over seven hours. In quiet moments, I did some squats and calf raises to relieve the ache in my lower back! I’m looking forward to sitting at my desk again on 13 August!

Day 3 at Wembley Arena


Soggy hockey sticks!

I was relieved from Games Maker duties today so Bruce and I could go to the Olympic Park to watch China vs Korea in the preliminary rounds of the women’s hockey at the Riverbank Arena.

It was glorious sunshine when we set off from home but the weather forecast was looking gloomy for the afternoon. We had a very easy journey from Lewisham to Stratford on the DLR and after a quick visit to M&S to stock up on food supplies to keep us going, we headed to security prepared for long queues. Surprisingly the queues were short, the security check swift and friendly but the grey clouds were gathering.

Once through security there was a bolt of lightning, a clap of thunder and the skies opened! The view ahead was suddenly filled with umbrellas. We had a 10 minute walk to the hockey venue and were soaked through to the skin by the time we found our seats.

Luckily the sun came out during the game and we dried off while watching China beat Korea 4-0. The rules of hockey have changed since I played truant from school to avoid playing, and there was added excitement with players being sent to the ‘sin-bin’ for arguing with the referee.

The rain came down again almost as soon as the final whistle blew but we did manage a rather wet walk around the Olympic Park to soak up the atmosphere before heading back to the DLR for a smooth journey home. It was great to see the Olympic Park in action and to be able to say ‘I was there’.

Day 2 watching hockey


We’re all going to Wembley!

I’ve never stood outside an underground station before waiting for the gates to be unlocked so I could get the first train of the morning at 05:21. I was soon joined by other Games Makers all heading for various London 2012 venues, along with the late-night revellers returning home after a long Friday night out!

Wembley Arena, the venue for badminton and rhythmic gymnastics, had undergone a complete facelift since my last visit, proudly displaying the Olympic rings and a hive of activity even at 06:15! Inside had been transformed beyond recognition from the concert venue I’m used to visiting. I even heard several spectators say ‘Wow’ as they entered.

My ‘front of house’ role involved showing spectators to their seats, which also meant I was lucky enough to see some of the action, including Team GB’s Susan Egelstaff win her opening match, although our VIP guest, Prince Charles, didn’t stay to see her win.

There was a great atmosphere, lots of cheering and support, and hopefully everyone was happy with the efficient way I showed them to their seats even if their player didn’t win!

Day 1 at Wembley


Bonkers, Bond, Bean and bizarre

After attending a technical rehearsal of the Opening Ceremony on Monday night, which was an amazing experience, I was really looking forward to watching the whole event on the TV on Friday evening.

I’d decided I would only watch the performance until the athletes’ parade, then I’d go to bed because I had an 04:15 alarm call on Saturday morning for my first Games Maker shift. I was so enthralled by the event, the atmosphere, the performances, the music, the humour and the pyrotechnics that I couldn’t drag myself to bed.

I thought the event was amazing, I loved that it was quirky, chaotic, noisy and as Dizzee Rascal sang ‘bonkers’, the touch of humour with the Queen, her corgis and James Bond and Mr Bean. I also knew that Rob was one of the cyclists who came on right at the end so stayed up to try and spot him, knowing that I’d regret it in the morning but it was worth it!

Day 1



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