In 2010 I was living in Birmingham and contemplating relocation to London with my partner. Naturally, I had started to seek opportunities in the city when I came across an advert for Olympic Ambassadors, 8000 of which were being recruited from across the UK. This would be to support the games that were coming to the capital city.
The process involved completing a fairly lengthy application form, providing passport information and much other detail to even be considered for the first round of short listing. I had a spare half hour with it being my lunch break and it sounded like a fantastic once in a lifetime opportunity… so I applied.There started the chain of events that would see us relocate to London, get stuck into the city life and almost forget that I had submitted an application. So I was pretty happy to check my old email account in early 2011 to find that I had been selected to attend an interview. I was immediately nervous but went along, completing more forms and conducting role plays with fellow interviewees as I went.
The next stage involved further short listing, allocation of the roles and the certainty that no matter how big or small, the contribution would be a part of the vital effort to coordinate the games. Role allocation was followed by three modules of training spread over several months. This provided a chance to learn more about London, my peers that I would work with on shift and policy and regulations that we would need to follow.
Seeing all of this come together has been exciting; the anticipation has been mixed. Some are pleased about the opportunity that this provides for London to demonstrate our capability as host of a global event. Others are less certain; inevitably the transport system will see a serious surge in usage. Zones 1 and 2 in particular are likely to become no-go areas unless vital whilst emergency and security services will be under immense pressure to maintain the safety and well-being of the public and tourists in the city.
So, why am I staying in London this summer? The Olympics are finally here! In a couple of short weeks, all eyes will fall upon London to host a global spectacle. The training that we volunteers have undertaken will come into use, and for a city-loving, sociable, sports fan like myself I cannot imagine being anywhere else when athletes that I have admired will be on my home turf. It may be chaotic. It is likely to be busy and will certainly test not just London but the UK’s infrastructure to the limit. But I think we are ready. Let the games begin. 🙂
Are you volunteering to support the London 2012 Olympics? Which part are you most looking forward to?