After a confusing start to my first day, things had worked out well and I was looking forward to working with the IOC web team. The role was shared between a total of four Games Makers: Feliksa, myself, Stella and Claire. Each day one of us started at nine and worked the first half of the day before handing over to the next person in the early afternoon. They would then stay until the last person in the web team was leaving, often around seven in the evening.
Apart from our role, there was only one other Games Maker role in the office. We didn’t have much to do with the Games Maker hierarchy as our daily tasks were coordinated by the IOC staff.
I really enjoyed the atmosphere in the office. There were more than 20 people in the communications team, although we were hardly ever all in the office at the same time. Everyone knew their role and the team seemed to work like a well-oiled machine. Although I have lived in London for several years, the multilingual environment was new to me and I was fascinated by people regularly switching languages in mid-sentence. I soon joined in and shared lots of banter with Peter, my fellow German.
The IOC staff worked very long hours with only the odd afternoon off. Most of them had experienced several Olympics before and knew what to expect. They managed to make the most of their time off to see some live action and explore London.
Everything was rather calm in the first few days. We mainly worked with pictures from the athletes’ village, ongoing training sessions and images taken around London to show the city getting into Olympic spirit. This changed once the Games were under way. We were all very tired on the morning after the opening ceremony, either from watching it on TV until 1am or after returning from the stadium in the early hours. We had hundreds of images to go through and worked through a long list of highlights from the show, significant ceremonial moments and honorary guests. This time speed was important to get the images onto the website as soon as possible.
Games Making never stops
One of the most unexpected experiences was to represent the Olympics when I was off duty. Before the Games started I changed out of my uniform to photograph the torch relay on Bayswater Road. But after that I happily wore the uniform on my way to and from the Hilton and was approached regularly by random people.
My favourite episode was one evening in a supermarket where I was trying to choose what to cook for dinner. An American family approached me, apologised for it and then asked if I could tell them what the best way to the Olympic Park was, tube or Javelin train? Luckily I had experienced both options at this stage and could confidently suggest going to St Pancras Station to catch the superfast, air-conditioned 7 minute Javelin train instead of a 45 minute tube journey from West London.