What the I-Double A-F!?

It’s 6.45am on a Saturday and my alarm is ringing. No, I haven’t forgotten to switch it off for the weekend. Yes, I am going to work – albeit with a slight headache (thanks APA Sports Day). But not my ordinary day job. For the next two weeks I am going to be helping out, or rather buying and selling crazy amounts of supermarket meal deals to, the official German* broadcasters of the IAAF Athletic World Championships in London.

*full disclosure, I speak German and studied it at university. It makes total sense.

Mein Büro ist besser als dein Büro

Generator Olympic Stadium

For the duration of the games, I, and the other 4 runners, were based at the International Broadcast Compound – or more specifically in the canteen for German TV. One of our main tasks was feeding a crew of hundreds on a daily basis. This meant a hell of a lot of meal deal sandwiches, microwave curries and soups. I can now also fully explain what a pot noodle is in two languages (don’t test me on that), because, for some inexplicable reason, this particular English delicacy hasn’t reached the shores of Hamburg yet.

Our accreditation meant that, for about a week, we had access to the track and the stadium, so we invested much of our time getting some sweet panoramas of the arena and pretending to be Sonic Hero the Hedgehog walking out to greet our 80,000 adoring fans*.

*full disclosure, these were other TV crews getting on with their actual jobs and a stadium filled with empty seats. But why are you trying to take this away from me?

Oh my days

Generator Usain Bolt
The problem with taking time off work to work somewhere else with 0 days off means that you quickly lose track of what day you are on and what a day even is. Soon, days became known by the things that had happened on them, rather than the established naming system that has served us well for centuries. Monday, you know – any Monday, was lovingly referred to as the day we all had a sugar crash from eating too many meal deals, cakes, sweets and other healthy food. Wednesday was the day it rained. Then there was the day Usain fell over, the day I fell in love with 1500m runner Konstanze Klosterhalfen, and the day we tried to wheel two large cool boxes through the Mixed Zone in the middle of a live, internationally broadcast sporting event. For the uninitiated, the Mixed Zone is that bit where athletes are interviewed by the press after their events. Although, 24hrs hours previously we were legit accredited enough to be able to walk onto to the track, so it was good see that, even if the security guards couldn’t stop a streaker running through the stadium shortly before Bolt’s final 400m sprint, they could stop two clueless runners walking a wagon with a tonne of falafel wraps, cokes and snickers. Good work security team!


Generator Production

Soon enough, the day that inevitably became known as the Last Day rolled around and I got spend the day in the sunshine watching athletes walk up and down the mall really fast for 3hrs – a true endurance test for both audiences and competitors! However, as I reflect on the 2 weeks I spent driving to and from Leyton ASDA, making many an illegal right turn driving through central London, conversing with athletes and hanging out with mates (big up to my fellow runners George, Matt, Nicole and Xin) whilst watching sporting history being made, I realise what I privilege it is to work in this industry.

The legacy of the 2012 Olympics is still going strong – even if that means the uniforms at any future UK-based sporting event will get more and more blindingly pink! The stadium was sold out pretty much every day and speaking to both athletes and journalists, everyone loves coming to London for these big events. In this time of international tension, few things can bring the world together better than sport and a cheeky Feierabendbierchen* or two**.

Generator Olympic Stadium Filming 

*the German equivalent of cracking open a few cold ones with the lads after work.

**if you ever find yourself working with a large group of Germans asking for beer, buy Hop House 13 – they bloody love the stuff.

Peace & love! 


Tags: IAAF Athletics World Championships APA Sports Day Meal Deal Meal Deal German Runner International Broadcast TV Sandwiches Microwave Curries Soups Pot Noodle Hamberg Hamburger Fans Not really Fans Bolt Usian History Sport Olympics Feierabendbierchen Peace Love generator generator films