Volunteers to be seen and heard
A volunteer 'Games Maker' directs Olympic Park visitors. Pic: Carl Court/AFP

Volunteers to be seen and heard


They have proved the unexpected hit of the Games – the troops of volunteers there to direct Olympic visitors, to marshal security lanes, take tickets and generally make sure that the wheels don’t come off the so-called Greatest Show on Earth.

In fact there’s a whole load of Londoners who, having been handed a megaphone, are becoming star acts in their own right.

Up at the Olympic Park yesterday, where the sun was out and the atmosphere was fantastic, this chap was in danger of proving a victim of his own success. Perched high to direct visitors along the correct lane he was so engaging that other volunteers had to shuffle visitors on as they paused to take in the show.

“Welcome, welcome!” he said. “I don’t know where you’re from or who you are but you’re welcome!”

“Kids hold onto mum and dad, mum and dad hold onto the kids. Have fun. Enjoy the Games. You’re a colourful crowd aren’t you?”

A few feet away a similarly seated colleague welcomed passengers heading out of Stratford Station. “It’s a once in a lifetime experience,” she told us. As a roar was heard from the stadium on a day when Britain leapt up the medal table and crowds of supporters took to the Park even if they couldn’t get into the venues themselves.

She joked: “Great isn’t it? I’ll be able to tell my grandchildren ‘I heard the London Olympics’.”

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