Today was the opening of the Village and we weren’t really expecting the change that was to come. No Aussie athletes were due to arrive that day, only some officials and Sport Section Managers. I’ll be honest when I say I really wasn’t prepared for what was to come.
It was the first day that we had proper ‘shifts’ as it were. I was starting at 2.30pm along with the rest of my shift whilst the others started at 7am and ended at 3pm. Having arrived on time for my shift I noticed a difference straight away. The village was much busier than it had been before. Athletes everywhere, the marking of territories (with flags and banners, nothing else!), the village effectively becomes a ‘United Nations’ Village with everyone being happy and cheerful and settling into their new digs.
We were informed that our team had been busy getting the officials from the Welcome Centre, getting them accredited, bringing them to their residences then getting their bags from the Welcome Centre etc. Effectively, they had been pretty busy that morning, something that would be replicated throughout the week, and this was only a handful of arrivals. Nothing like the onslaught we were told was still to come.
It only started to sink in that there were now actual athletes in the Village. This was recognised ten fold when the Golden Team walked right past, Team GB. They walked right past our Aussie HQ. It was pretty cool I must say. We had Gamesmakers heading past and they all started clapping at the Home Nation squad. You could just pick a few of the Celebrities out, Tom Daley was one (extremely tanned in real life!).
It was actually quite exciting just getting a glimpse of them, even for five seconds and then they disappeared round the corner. These people are stars and you are feet away from them, it was pretty awesome I must say. Little did I know I was going to get a bit more of this.
Rob and myself had been tasked with putting some forms into our Aussie LOCOG BMWs. With paper and pens in tow we headed over to the carpark. It took us maybe 30 minutes or so, nothing too exciting but then again it was a job that needed doing. We did discover that our cars were parked directly next to Team GB and they had a special BMW, well the pictures were different 🙂
Heading back I said to Rob, Let’s go round the Team GB block as we don’t usually and we may see some famous people. Exciting the plaza to turn left and we are met with a wall of Team GB athletes. Around 40 of them in total, I managed to pick out Dame Kelly Holmes with her umbrella up, Tom Daley (again), Pete Wakefield and Rob informed me that we also seen Ryan Giggs (don’t do football so couldn’t really tell you!).
Needless to say we were both pretty chuffed with this. Totally unexpected and bam! We get hit with quite a lot of the team. On arriving back at the AOC HQ we were pretty ecstatic and star struck at the sight of Team GB. Everyone was excited that they were actually here. We really couldn’t believe our luck.
It wouldn’t be the last time I’d see more of them either…