Yesterday I had the privilege of joining thousands of other London 2012 Games Makers, some fresh from their role at the Paralympics, at a packed-out Mall in London’s West End yesterday for the Athletes Parade. The lucky thousand or so who received special tickets to see the Team GB athletes, who have made the Olympics and Paralympics so special, were lined up right across the Pall Mall along with thousands of members of the public, servicemen and dignitaries.
Cheering, signing, clapping and indeed screaming at times, the atmosphere was incredible as everyone waved to the heroes of the Games. London, the nation and indeed the world has been touched at the incredible success of London 2012; from the gallant effort of the athletes to the brilliant organising of LOCOG and the London mayor. I felt very proud to be praised by so many people too for my role as a Games Maker, a role which I will never ever forget.
As the float procession came through the Mall, I was busy taken hundreds of photos of the athletes, who were all smiling and waving, proudly displaying their medals and soaking up the atmosphere.
Mo Farah, Sir Chris Hoy, Jonnie Peacock, Tom Daley, Ellie Simmonds, Sarah Storey, Katherine Grainger, Louis Smith…just some of the famous faces I saw, every single one of them a hero in their own discipline, and whom the nation will remember forever.
With music, entertainment and even an appearance from Ezzie Izzard, who dressed in the bright purple and red uniform I had grown accustomed to, the afternoon was fantastic, a proper send-off to London 2012. Now the legacy lives on, and as the red arrows flashed through the sky rounding off the celebrations, it’s time for the UK to take advantage of sport and all benefit from the legacy.
Thank you Games Makers, thank you athletes, thank you Britain! The Games have changed my life and it has been a real honour to be a part of it. The Olympics and Paralympics have given us so much hope, so much joy and so much to look forward to. I just hope it comes back in my life time…
You can see my photos from the parade, including photos of our athletes, here.
P.s/ Any suggestions as to which sport I should take up? Fencing appeals to me! What do you think I should take up, thoughts and suggestions would be grateful.