Councillor’s ‘superb’ Olympic experience

Games maker Steve O'Dare outside the Olympic Stadium.
Games maker Steve O'Dare outside the Olympic Stadium.
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A GAMES Maker from Skegness has told of the once in a lifetime experience they enjoyed, playing a vital role during the London 2012 Olympics.

While Great Britain looks back fondly upon the two week spectacle, which captured its hearts and imagination, Skegness town councillor Steve O’Dare is already preparing for next week’s Paralympic Games.

As one of the lucky applicants selected for the role, Steve (pictured right) has already witnessed the incredible atmosphere which filled the Olympic Park as British athletes achieved one phenomenal success after another, elevating the nation on a wave of euphoria.

He said: “It was a fantastic experience, probably one of the best in my life so far.

“The atmosphere was incredible, it was electric and hugely positive all of the time - everyone was there for one thing and one thing only and that was to enjoy what was a once in a lifetime experience.”

Steve applied to be a Games Maker along with a quarter of million other Olympic hopefuls in late 2010 and was told he had been selected to be one of the 70,000 lucky volunteers helping with the running of the Games earlier this year.

Games Maker responsibilities can encompass anything from attending car parks to welcoming visitors.

Steve’s job as an anti-doping chaperone in the hockey and basketball arenas was to inform athletes they had been selected for a drugs test and escort them to the testing centre without letting them out of his sight.

“No one was pleased to see us,” he admitted.

“But after their test, there was only one or two athletes who didn’t either high five me or shake my hand - as professionals they knew it was all part of the job.”

His role also gave Steve some fantastic opportunities to meet world class athletes and gain insights into the fascinating action behind the scenes.

He said: “It would be difficult to identify one stand out moment because there were so many but my personal highlight would have to be, being in close proximity with the USA Dream Team - the size of those guys is almost breathtaking.”

The Games had been blighted by a series of PR disasters in the months leading up to its opening ceremony, as security blunders, advertising rows and financial stories appeared throughout the national media.

Like many sports fans, Steve was relieved to see the negativity dissipate as soon as the Olympics began.

“It was wonderful to see,” he said.

“The organisation was virtually flawless, I was speaking to Oceania’s representative for the basketball association who described the Games as the most efficient and friendly he had ever attended.”

Steve hopes the successes of the Olympics will continue through the Paralympics and onwards to create a lasting legacy for the nation.

He said: “We need to keep riding this Olympic wave of positivity and get more kids involved with sport, adults too - because there’s a legacy to be had from the Olympics and we need to ensure that as a nation we grasp that opportunity.”

To help do his bit in spreading the Olympic message, Steve would like to hear from any organisations or groups interested in hearing his insights on the Games at one of their upcoming meetings.

To contact Steve, call 07990 532743 or email steveodare@hotmail.co.uk.