London 2012: A Games Maker Journey Pt 3 of 4

Day 7 to Day 11

Day 7: 03 August 2012

Allocated in the seating bowl for boxing arena.

The job description fits an usher; our duty is to guide the spectator to their respective seats. When the event started, all we had to do was make sure that the spectators stayed in their seats and not disrupt the view of other spectators by waving the big flags etc. And we could watch the whole event with them – for free. If there were any commotions, we had to call the Knights and Sons (K&S) for assistance. They were situated at the bottom of the stairs in each section of the seating bowl. So, in a way, we had our personal K&S.

Ken was a big fan of boxing. Me? Not so much. I didn’t get the whole concept of ‘amateur boxing’. I had Ken explained to me that it was something about boxing with style and not swerving punches as one please. It wasn’t as gruesome as I imagined, but I was still unable to appreciate it. To make matter worse, the boxing spectators seemed to be more concerned about getting drunk than paying attention to the event. The stench of beer was so overpowering and there were spillage on the floors that I had to constantly ask Ken to send for the cleaning crew.

As it was only a three-minute fight, we were told to refrain any spectators from reentering the section until the time was up. There was one person who asked why they couldn’t go back to their seats since there were other spectators leaving the seats during the fight. “It didn’t make sense,” he said “There was no difference between them leaving their seats and we going back to our seats.”It was hard to reason with someone who is clearly tipsy. I fumbled with some reason about being polite.

I was looking at the countdown of the three-minutes fight for most of the time.

Here’s a picture of all the people I met on the first day. We seemed to be together throughout the whole week. y.

From left:me, Gabriella, Avni, Rebecca, Jonny

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Day 8: 04 August 2012

Allocated in the seating bowl for weightlifting arena.

Personally, I felt that being assigned at the seating bowl was a privilege. A bonus if you are assigned to a medal match. Also, an added bonus if you are lucky enough to be allocated in the arena and time slot of your preference.

Surprisingly, I enjoyed watching weightlifting. I happened to always be in the men’s weighlifting event instead of the female’s.

There were two types of event in weightlifting which I familiarised myself on my first day of work. The first is the snatch, where the barbell is lifted from the platform in a smooth continuous movement. The other is the clean and jerk, where the barbell is lifted to the clavicle, and then above the head. I found myself holding my breath each time. Athlete weighing approximately 94kg could snatch a 150 kg. For a moment, I thought that these people could pick and throw an average person out if they want to – effortlessly.

It was a medal match today. We were also honoured to witness a new Olympic and World record being set by a Kazakhstan for the Clean & Jerk event.

The crowd went wild, and I went home with the cheers and whistles still ringing in my ears.

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Day 9: 05 August 2012

The most memorable day for us, as our hero Dato Lee Chong Wei once again made our country proud when he bagged the Malaysia’s first silver medal in badminton men’s final.

I went out with YC for lunch before we headed to Hyde Park to watch badminton on the big screen. There were none. We rushed to the nearest wifi station – McDonald, to stream the match online. End up, we watched the nail-biting badminton gold medal match via an iPhone.

Although I hadn’t seen much medal matches to date, this was also the first time an athlete was in verge of tears on the stand. To top it off, there was the heart-breaking tweet from DLCW saying that he was sorry.

Yet, the whole nation is proud of him. Why not?

****

That night, Gabriella and I went to watch fencing finals. We’re not supposed to do that without our uniform, but I guessed we could have easily been mistaken as part of the media crew or creative team (with no attire code).

We got to sit near the Olympics Family section, which means we had one of the best view of the match, and the medal ceremony. For fencing, each round lasted 3 minutes or 5 hits. It was a good match. Italian bagged the gold medal with 45-39. Japan silver, and Germany silver.

I loved how the athletes shared their stage together to take a group picture. So much loveeeee.

Day 10: 06 August 2012

Back to the seating bowl in the weightlifting arena.

To be honest, the weightlifting arena was my favourite arena. The team leaders were friendly; it was also the only arena you get to choose what you really want to do. By then I’m very familiar with the codes: Zone 10 for ticketing, Zone 11 for spectator zone, Seat 10 for the back seating, and Seat 11 for the front seating etc.

It was a pleasant surprise for three spectators to approach me “hey, it’s you again!” What are the chances of meeting the same games maker (a.k.a me) in two of their consecutive events? They asked if I remembered them from Day 7 at the boxing arena, but I had greeted thousands of spectators in between…

I was then switched to safeguard an entrance for accreditation access (mainly for Olympic Family and NOCs). This is a very petty manner, but I got so excited when I was so close to the army that I had to make way for them.  LOL.

At the debriefing, there was a very heated argument between the team leaders of our EVS team and the K&S. I caught the tail end of the conversation, where our team leader was trying to reason with the K&S leader.

Earlier on, there were a couple of excited Iranians desperately waved their large national flags. This shadowed the view of the other spectators. As mentioned in Day 7, when commotions like these happened, we were told to call the K&S. Apparently the games maker on duty for that section did, but the K&S never bothered (or wasn’t present). In a separate incident, I overheard a couple of people complaining about the K&S. To be honest, I find it mean to generalize. Just because a couple of K&S do not do their job does not generalize the whole K&S population. Me; I’ve been fortunate enough to be in contact with very nice K&S throughout.

The argument was so tense that we stayed a distance away. I think our leader forgot to debrief us, after. Or maybe I didn’t catch any of it.

Met a fellow Malaysian on this day. 😀

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Day 11: 07 August 2012

Assigned at the precinct once again.

For precinct shifts, we rotated our positions a couple of times. Coincidentally, my first position was at the exact same spot as I did in Day 2.  This time, I had a partner so the time passes more quickly.

I’ve got another surprise!

The same spectators from Day 7 and 10 could recognize me. Usually, I had ponytail up and contact lens on, but that day I was so tired that I just went without tying my hair up and had my specs on.  I should have taken a picture with them using my own camera. *cries*

When I was assigned to the door, time ticked by ever so slowly. Several people stopped by and had a quick chat before running off to their post. A very nice K&S gave me a whole sandwich. And half a cookie. Aww…

Here’ s two picture of me while guarding the door. I don’t even have access to the door I’m guarding.. 😦

Good news though, my team leader let us off early, and a K&S took over.

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Glad for this early end. 😀

Signing off,

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