Working at the Olympics
I’m back from working at the Olympic canoe slalom event and man, am I tired! We arrived on the Saturday evening and set our tents up at the campsite before having a hilarious game of football where we all realised how utterly awful we are at it. We were meant to be meeting the boss and the people who work full time at around 8:30, but they didn’t turn up until about 10 pm. None of us had thought to bring any proper food with us because we thought we’d all be eating out together, so we had to put together a slightly odd meal of crisps, undercooked bread rolls and a small portion of pasta between six of us.
After our highly nutritious meal, we headed to bed in preparation for the 7:30 start in the morning. We had to park about 20 minutes away from the Olympic site, so walked through the town centre which was suitably decked out in Olympic bunting.
After that, the days were filled with serving customers, restocking fridges, counting money and all sorts of fun stuff like that. There were so many ridiculous rules about what we were and weren’t allowed to do. For instance, we weren’t allowed to call the vegetarian burgers ‘burgers’, they had to be ‘rissoles’; we weren’t allowed to serve anything in a bread roll; and we weren’t allowed to have our logo or name on show anywhere. In some ways, we had it easy though – the fish and chip stand next to us weren’t allowed to serve chips without fish as McDonalds didn’t allow them. On the first day, they ran out of fish and had to close early because they couldn’t serve chips on their own. We had people from Coke coming round every hour or so asking us if we needed more drinks to sell, checking they were all chilled and in the right order in the fridge. I do find it silly how the Olympics is meant to be about legacy and giving the small businesses a chance to earn some money when McDonalds and Coke have the rights to everything and control everything that’s sold.
Thankfully, we were able to catch a few of the boats going down the course and I was lucky enough to see the last boat of the men’s C2 final, which Great Britain got a gold and a silver in. It felt so special to be a part of it and to actually be standing there seeing it happen.
We were also allowed to go and watch the awards ceremony, but we only gave ourselves a couple of minutes to get there. We ended up running along the track outside the stands and as we tried to get up the ramp where we’d been able to watch before, we were told we couldn’t go up it to watch. We ran up to the next stands and again were told that it was ticket holders only. At this point, we could hear the crowd roaring as the athletes came into view so we sprinted across to the next stand and were thankfully allowed up. We took the stairs two at a time and just made it to the top as the medals were being awarded.
And we all sang our hearts out to the national anthem as the flags were hoisted up. The atmosphere was amazing and the whole crowd was just a sea of union flags as people sang.
I realise just how lucky we were to see all of this, considering we only had work passes and not tickets. It was very hard work though, standing up for the best part of ten hours a day and sleeping in a field with very basic facilities (the toilets didn’t even have loo roll!). After packing everything up, we didn’t get home until midnight on Thursday. I’m very glad I took the job and it was such a great experience, but I am SO tired I can barely keep my eyes open as I type. The only regret I have is not seeing all of the other Olympic events that went on while I was there. I really enjoy watching the Olympics and I love everything that it represents – bringing the whole world together through sport. I even find myself avidly watching the sports that I have no interest in and know nothing about!
GO TEAM GB!!!
Are you watching the Olympics? What events do you enjoy watching and which seem too confusing to understand?