‘You’re told that an event that’s dear to your heart — an annual fair, festival, or conference — will be cancelled forever (or taken over by an evil organization). Write about it. For your twist, read your piece aloud, multiple times. Hone that voice of yours!’
I’ve spent quite a while thinking about this so called event. This is the part where I admit I’m boring and do not have an annual event that I go to asides from birthdays. Darn us all getting older! But the words ‘life-changing’ got me thinking – London 2012!
For two weeks I was a Games Maker at Wimbledon during the 2012 Olympics. I know many Brits will groan if you mentioned those two words, but I was so excited. I remember on the 6th July 2005 when we found out that London was going to host the Olympics, we were sat in Food Tech, the teacher announced it and we were all celebrating. She then made us think what would be doing at that time when we were 19. Then there was the awful day that followed when those bastards attacked our beautiful city.
I remember applying to be a Games Maker, thinking I would never get in, to the point where I applied and submitted my application at 23:58:53 just before the deadline. Talk about cutting it short! I then remember getting an email from them just as I had started Uni asking me to come back to London for an interview…an interview! I couldn’t believe it, I was so nervous before I had even reached East London, then when I saw I was the youngest by at least 10 years I had a sinking feeling that was going to be my last stop. When I had my Orientation at Wembley I nearly thought my journey was over when I had just gotten back to London and there was heavy snow. But fortunately I was able to go to one later in the day as the snow started to melt. Luckily the rest of my training went very smoothly! The fact that I was given Wimbledon as my venue was the icing on the cake. I was a local, and although it disrupted my journey to school for two weeks a year I loved watching it and imagined being there one day watching a game.
But what if this never happened?
I would have never worked with an amazing group of people who I met up with after the games, who also shared a passion for Wimbledon. I would have never met some of the tennis players who I have idolised for years. I wouldn’t have been with my team standing on Murry Mount on our last day cheering him on and seeing him win Gold against Federer. I wouldn’t have had the ability to say that I, yes little old me, was part of the Olympics in my hometown, the place where I grew up and played sports for my borough. Especially as the Olympics may never come back to London. Or to say that I was part of the Games Makers army that helped changed the way people saw volunteering.
Even now thinking about how amazing that summer was, I can’t help but get a little teary eyed. It was honestly the best summer I had, I learnt so much and grew as a person. It hard to imagine what would have happened if London suddenly lost the Olympics. As had I not been a Games Makers I still would have participated somehow.