Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Representing the Games as a London Ambassador

The Games
Can you believe it has been 7 years since London was selected to host the 2012 Olympic Games? It's scary to think about how much the country has prepared for this monumental event, and with less than a month to go, the expectations of the country will finally be put to the test as the games begin on the 27th of July.

Talk about pressure! As they say, 3 is the magic number, and funnily enough, this will be the first occasion that a country has held the games for a third time. I feel privileged to see the glorious colours of Great Britain reign victor as the host of the Olympics atleast once during my life time. Incredible.

I can't begin to explain the wonders that the games are going to do for the country. One of the most important things in my opinion is our reputation. With the recession still looming and England still recovering from the riots of 2011, we haven't exactly been witnessed in our best light. Funnily enough, I feel responsible for enforcing that reputation! The reason being is that I am one of the 8,000 London Ambassadors who will be welcoming visitors from all over the world. To be honest, I can't really say it better than the website:

London Ambassadors will welcome visitors from all over the world during the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. We're looking for volunteers to be the face of London; people who are passionate about the capital and want to tell millions of people about the hidden treasures that makes London one of the best capital cities in the world.

The country has stood together, and many citizens of London have agreed to volunteer their own time for the good of the country. If this doesn't speak for itself, then I don't know what will. In terms of the games, these mostly full into 2 categories;  London Ambassadors and Game Makers.

Team London Ambassadors
My journey began during early 2011 where I saw the Game Maker scheme randomly advertised on a bus. Excited by the prospect, I went straight to the website where I was unforunately welcome by a 'Applications now closed' message. How annoying. However, when one door closes, another door opens. I was linked to the London Ambassadors program which I'd never actually heard of before. After getting through the first round, I was taken to a group interview in Camden. In summary, I had to find London landmarks on a map, role play as a drunk visitor, and then explain the word 'colour' for 2 minutes! Not your most stereotypical of interviews!

Months later, I was happy to find that I had been chosen at one of the 8,000 London Ambassadors who would be representing. What an honour.

The help and training provided to us has been amazing. Rather than being considered another one of the bunch, we have truly been supported and I feel that it can't be appreciated enough. After 3 modules of training which expanded on what we would be doing, where we would be doing it, customer servie training by John Lewis and other suck perks, we will finally be put to the test as our volunteering schedules begin to start. Not to mention the incredible gifts for giving up our time such as a free ticket to a westend show, a chance to be in a world record treasure hunt, and even a free ticket to see Saracens vs. Harlequins. I was lucky enough to be one of the Ambassadors chosen on the day to speak for us all. What was I feeling you ask? Fear. Pure fear; but at the same time, I have never been so proud. It was the most surreal moment of my life.

We are introduced at about 3.18, I speak at 4.58!
We were told that we needed to simply state our names, where we were volunteering, and what we were looking forward to most for the Olympics. Easier said than done!

With less than 3 weeks to go until my volunteering schedule at Wembley starts, all that I have left to say is that I am optimistic. After all of the training and preparation, and after witnessing the technical rehearsal of the opening ceremony last night, I can only hint at the surprises that will be revealed to the public of London 2012, possibly making this the greatest Olympics to ever exist. #savethesecret

Here are a few from my phone last night before my phone died!

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