My first week of Olympicsing

Poor blog.

It’s been neglected somewhat as I focus on my real job, my first paid employment in eight months.

I’m back freelance radio reporting for my old company for the Olympics, something I haven’t done since early 2010 when I was lured to the dark side.

It’s a sweet gig but I can’t say it got off to a smooth start.

To begin with I’ve lost my radio voice (it’s arguable I ever had one in the first place) so it took me a good few hours to spit out my first four voice reports.

Then I got lost after travelling for an hour to see kiwi Olympic legend Barbara Kendall carry the torch. I was at the right street but in the wrong suburb.

Later that day I left £150 of prepaid travel cards on the tube. Luckily the London Media Centre was kind enough to give me another £90 travel card.

And not long after that, I received the devastating news that all my audio from my first few days reporting sounds like the people are aliens or that I interviewed them in a tunnel. What could I expect, I guess, I am using an iPad as if it’s a microphone, which is slightly awkward when it comes to holding it up in a press scrum.

Luckily one of my colleagues came to my rescue, giving me an iPhone to use, though the sim card tray promptly snapped, seeing me make an urgent visit to the Apple store to get a technician to ply it out.

But I feel I’ve finally overcome the teething problems and are now well and truly enjoying myself.

Here’s my top ten moments so far.

1. Going to cheer on New Zealand Olympic torchbearer Susan Grace who was selected for her work with London’s homeless. She was swamped by crowds and received such a roaring reception in the London suburb of Merton that many people asked me – ‘is she famous?’

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2. Getting to see Kate, Wills and Harry in the flesh when I reported on the torch’s visit to Buckingham Palace. Sadly I was so focused on getting audio and trying to move my arse out of the way of the guy behind me who kept ramming it, that the only photo I got obscures Kate’s face.

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3. Watching the Queen’s row barge Gloriana, which carried the Olympic flame, float past my old next door neighbours’ front lawn in Hampton Wick on the morning of the Opening Ceremony.

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4. Spending the evening of the Opening Ceremony at Hyde Park listening to Duran Duran belting out their 80’s hits, although I was bitterly disappointed they didn’t play ‘Girls on Film’ as it’s their only song I know all the words to. It was also amazing to look up to see the sky painted red, white and blue by some planes. I missed the plane part but did get a photo of the vapour trail.

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5. Being a groupie and getting my photo with New Zealand Governor General Jerry Mateparae. I know I’m supposed to be impartial as a journo but I love him. He’s a brilliant public speaker and is incredibly down to earth.

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6. Interviewing children on what they thought of the Olympic mascots and accidentally laugh/snorting (I blame my best friend’s mum for that bad habit) at a kid’s answer to my question ‘what do you think Wenlock actually is?’ and he replied – ‘They just like made it up, they had like left over scraps and they made it up, like random stuff.’ I couldn’t agree more, seriously what is this thing?

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7. Being the only journalists to actually turn up to an Olympic-themed high tea at a five star hotel in central London = more food for me.

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8. Getting to see all the troops wandering around town in their uniforms. Thank you G4S for failing to recruit enough staff! I will endeavour to get photos in the coming days…

9. Again being a groupie and getting my photo taken with Andrew Nicholson, part of our first 2012 medal winning eventing team.

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10. And finally, feeling exceptionally proud to be a kiwi after rowers Nathan Cohen and Joseph Sullivan produced New Zealand’s first gold medal.

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2 thoughts on “My first week of Olympicsing

  1. I was reporting in London as well and I have to say, I absolutely fell in love with Wenlock! He’s meant to be a “drop of steel” — which admittedly sounds a bit odd for a mascot, but I think they made him work. Especially after watching the way he cheered on athletes at the Stadium — adorable.

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