Down in the tribunes

29 Jul

Today was my first day at the ExCeL helping the Press Operations team man the tribunes, the area where journalists from around the world can write their sports stories from the field of play. After a wrong turning in the centre – I blame the early start for not immediately noticing that judo doesn’t require four table tennis tables – I arrived for a briefing with my team leader and venue media manager (VMM).

I’m unable to go into detail about my role, but after the Games I’ll update my blog with more news and views.

However, I can say:

As the first athletes walked onto the mats to Tinie Tempah’s ‘Pass Out’, I began to feel pumped. I had the best seat (or rather standing position) in the house. I was going to make sure my journalists wanted for nothing, and they didn’t.

I was fortunate enough to rub shoulders with Philippe Rogge, son of Jacque – President of the International Olympic Committee who was cheering on the Belgian Judoka. As our shift came to a close, the VMM took us to some press seats to enjoy the quarter final between Colin Oates and Georgian Lasha Shavdatuashvili. It was such a shame that Oates narrowly missed out on the chance of a medal. What didn’t let us down was the atmosphere. It was electric for Team GB; everyone was behind the players.

After my five minutes of down time as a spectator the shift was over. It was off to the break room for a well-deserved lunch. And before you ask, there wasn’t a McDonald’s in sight.

Shift two tomorrow. Athletes will compete against world-class players whilst I battle against commuters on the underground.

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