Yesterday, we brought you an exclusive interview with Ashley Steed, who volunteered for the opening and closing ceremonies in London this past summer. Today, we have an interview with Emily Kwan, who helped plan the festivities. We hope you enjoy it!
1. How did you get involved with the opening and closing ceremonies?
I’ve been working at LOCOG in Brand and Marketing, with the Inspire programme, since February. Inspire is the non-commercial brand for London 2012. The programme granted over 2700 non-commercial projects (in the areas of Sport, Culture, Education, Sustainability, Business and Volunteering) use of the Inspire mark, recognising their work and their legacy potential. Use of the Inspire mark allows projects to use their affiliation with the London 2012 Games to reach out to new audiences and promote their work. We have projects across every nation and region in the UK, so the programme has quite literally helped to bring the Games to the whole of the UK. Working on Inspire has been especially exciting, as it marks the first time in Olympic history that a non-commercial brand has been created for the Games. For more info on Inspire, check out http://www.london2012.com/bein
2. What specifically did you do in the opening ceremonies?
During the Opening Ceremony, I was helping with the Guard of Honour. The Guard of Honour was a programme where 2500 children from the Get Set programme lined the route of the Athletes’ Parade and cheered on athletes and coaches. The cheering kids were the first thing that athletes and coaches saw when they walked out of the Athletes’ Village. The kids’ energy and excitement was infectious, and it created this incredible welcoming for the athletes and coaches, before they made their way into the Stadium for the Opening Ceremony.
3. What was your favorite part of the ceremonies?
My favourite moment from the Opening Ceremony was the moment the Olympic Rings floated into the middle of the Stadium and burst into a shower of sparks – on TV, it was stunning, but in person, that moment was absolutely breathtaking.
4. What did you do during the games? Did you have any time to go to any events?
During the Games, I was based at Eton Dorney as a Zone Producer, looking after entertainment (ie: musical performances, mascot/torch appearances, etc.). It was a pretty great venue to be based at because it had a generally fun and easy-going atmosphere. I was also lucky enough to be out at Eton Dorney the day of Team GB’s first Gold win, so that was pretty memorable moment.
5. What was the most impressive thing about the games for you?
Working on the Olympic Games has been an amazing experience. One of the things that impressed me the most was how many ways there were to get involved, without even having tickets to the sporting events. Inspire is an example, but there were so many other other ways to get involved, with the London 2012 Festival, Live Sites, etc.
6. What are you doing now that the games are over?
The Olympic Games have ended, but things aren’t quite over for us at LOCOG. We’re in transition and busy preparing, for what will hopefully be an equally memorable Paralympic Games.
We hope you enjoyed this insider perspective on the games. Thanks for reading! What was your favorite part of the London Olympics? Let us know in the comments!