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
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
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**.
*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!