Thursday, 30 August 2012

Paralympic Opening Ceremony - behind the scenes

Thank-you to everyone who has been following my Olympic adventure. Last night was my last volunteering role as part of the cast in the paralympic opening ceremony. It has been almost one year since I started my volunteer work and what a year it has been. By far the most exciting part was last night. To walk out onto a stage knowing there are 80,000 in the audience and that it was being broadcast to over 100 countries around the world was probably one of the most nerve-wracking experiences I've had but once you are out there having to concentrate on what comes next, meant that nerves went out the window. My role meant that I was lining up with Ian McKellen and professor Stephen Hawking. What a line-up! I have met people from all walks of life, age groups, cultures, differing physical abilities that it has been an honour to partake in this ceremony.
Rehearsals in the Stadium began the week before and often ended late at night

All the aerial work was done by disabled performers. Here they are performing somersaults as they are lifted high into the air

Waiting for our final rehearsal yesterday afternoon as they wanted to add more to our routine. It was raining heavily at this point but we donned the plastic ponchos and waited for the call.

Costumes all ready

Even the guide dog had its own costume
Our costumes had extracts from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Get the Doc Martin Boots - they were so uncomfortable!)

Other members of my group in costume raring to go.

Part of the 'Navigation' cast. I think  they were the waves

Members of the 'gravity' cast

The big apple with the revolving wheelchair

The umbrella cast waiting to collect their umbrellas ready to go on

Aerial cast waiting nervously for their big moment

 My group waiting to go on

Ready for the finale!

After the finale we were finally allowed to take photos in the stadium

We didn't want to leave the stadium. In fact we stayed for about another hour mingling with the athletes before going off to a party at an all night pub. I eventually got home at 7am. What a night!


  1. WOW!!! What a night indeed! Was a beautiful ceremony, I loved the themes! :o)

    I can only imagine the energy that must have been rushing through everyone last night, realising that the moment you'd all been working so hard towards was finally here, and it was brilliant! Bravo!

    Did you get to keep the costume? ;o)

    And did you get to meet Ian McKellen and Stephen Hawking?! ;o)

    FUN times indeed! Lucky you!!!

  2. Oh, I cried when I read this post. What a night! What an adventure! You are my hero, Fun60!!!!

  3. So fascinating! I loved the photos! Too bad the boots were uncomfortable - they look so hip!

  4. I watched it on Belgium and German television, but didn't made it to the end. At 24.30 hour I couldn't keep my eyes open anymore. I liked it very much but why was it so late? The Olympics were also so late in the evening and I didn't made it to the end either. But the show was really great and it must have been so nice the have been part of it. The costumes were so nice, we haven't seen they were uncomfortable for you!

  5. How exciting. You got some great photos of the preparation. I only saw parts of the opening ceremony but it looked fabulous and I was thinking of you taking part in it all. An experience you'll cherish forever. Now you have to come down to reality again.

  6. OH My goodness.... How wonderful. Bet this may have been the best volunteer job you have ever had... It would be if it were me... What a terrific experience... Hope you can get a video of the whole thing --so that you can see what it looked like from the audience's viewpoint...

    Thanks so much for sharing all of your Olympic adventure...

    Have a great weekend.

  7. Congratulations on being part of such a fantastic ceremony! It's been so muc fun hearing your insider's view!!

  8. I enjoyed looking at your photos and getting a bit teary eyed. It looks amazing! Thank you for sharing to us.

    1. Wow ! looks like you had a GREAT time ! and .... enjoy your retirement !

  9. Love all the inventive, wacky and artsy costumes! Thanks for sharing all these details, that undoubtedly made it so much fun!


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