My Olympic Odyssey (Part 7/15): Ceremony audition 1

If you ever head to your first ever audition don’t wash your trainers the night before and leave them out to dry. They don’t dry so quick.

So it took a while to pick the right T-shirt to wear. Go for the nice blue one that suits me or the Atlanta Olympics 1996 one bought from the high street.
My boyfriend recommended the Olympic one would reveal my love of sport more, which made sense, so on with the trendily distressed pink and yellow motif it was. This was to be a regret – times two – later on in the day.
Don’t get me started on the problems trying to get to the Three Mills Studios located near West Ham. I live but a mere 4.8 miles away which should take 19 minutes to arrive by car. With no parking facilities available that day, the Tube it was. Now if the Tube is running properly it takes double that but if there are problems on the lines…
So the boyfriend dropped me off at the appointed 9am that drizzly Sunday morning; I made my way through the graffiti daubed tunnel, past the rotting mattress and through the haze of a gas leak to ‘London’s largest film and television production studios’.
Standing in line, passport in hand, I got chatting to those around me. A middle-aged artist nervous and flighty as a bird: ‘Am I wearing the right shoes? The wrong shoes? What do you think? I’m going to change them. No, I’ll keep these on. Can you hold these please?’

A rare occurrence of someone being smaller than the 5ft 2ins me meant we became partners in crime despite her obsession with being inside a mushroom or flower costume at one of the ceremonies.

We filled the time trying to work out where either of these items would fit in at the Games.

Once inside and through security it all became rather real when we all had our photos taken for our passes ‘in case we got through’ – it was here I wished for the first time that day I’d worn the complementary blue T-shirt instead of the raggedy old pink thing – and then were measured for costumes.
I was intrigued by my measurement of 7 ins for my hands and astounded by the next set of figures.

Yep, knew that.
Get me with my little waist.
“38 1/2.”
What? My butt is 38 1/2ins. Are you kidding me? Guess I don’t need to be going for any of those butt implant thingies, then. 

Once inside we’re addressed by the guy who has had the dubious pleasure of sorting out the ceremony melee for the past four Olympic Games.
Trying to get a handle on the sort of volunteer he had in front of him he asked various questions of the auditionees gathered round him.
Usually one to spout my sporting credentials at any opportunity I somehow find myself tongue-tied as others jumped in ahead of me.
When asked if anyone had any memories from the Athens Games I could only think of being mugged on the train on the way to the stadium and I thought perhaps this might seem a little negative and a red mark would be scratched against my name, so I kept silent.
One fella trumped everyone with his enthusiasm for taking part, having flown in from Philadelphia to audition. How that works when he’s needed for the up-to-12-hours-a-day rehearsals I never found out but that was impressive – if not slightly unhinged.

The director of operations pointed out the American’s thin, well-worn T-shirt. “Yes, it’s from the Atlanta Olympics,” the man explained proudly. “I was a volunteer there too.”

I cross my arms over my pink and yellow motif as I clearly can’t compete with this man’s devotion. My top was bought the previous week at Next.

And so it was on to what can only be described as a ‘drill’, for three hours, of which I’m sworn to secrecy.
What I can say is that the point where we were told to ‘do your own thing’ I acted on it with gusto, something that was to have consequences in what happened next.

Author: Jo Gunston

Roving blogging superfan shares behind the scenes stories of her sports life and the best of those from like-minded souls.

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