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Diary of an Olympic Volunteer: Singing in the Rain

Posted: 22/07/2012 19:13

There comes a point in every Olympic volunteer's life when you just can't help wondering precisely what mood elevator Gene Kelly was on when he wholeheartedly belted out his signature Singing in the Rain whilst happily splashing through puddle after puddle. Because the reality is that after countless rehearsals for the London 2012 opening ceremony dressed in a giant plastic poncho and soaked to the core no on in their right mind would even contemplate uttering lyrics such as "I'm laughing at the cloud" unless completely addled with illegal substances.

Obviously, with only five days to go until Show Day the stadium is now in full security lock-down (or very close to it anyway thanks to the muppets at G4S) so the strongest pick me up you can work with is granulated tea, the very concept of which I'm sure is illegal in itself. And anyway, we are British. Shouldn't we be embracing a little downpour and carry on with our dance routine regardless?

Turns out the world of opening ceremony volunteers is firmly split into two camps. Those that think the world is expecting the 2012 Games to be a washout anyway so we may as well kick off with a rain-soaked bang, and those of us that, maybe foolishly, believe that a little sunshine goes a long way towards not slipping and landing unflatteringly on one's backside when carrying the odd prop around the field of play. Call me vain but the fact that my entire family and roughly three billion people are watching might have something to do with me firmly falling (pardon the pun) into the latter category.

But it's not only the weather that is dividing opinions amongst the army of volunteers. A staple in the lunch packs provided for us, Nature Valley snack bars, have gone from welcome if slightly dry novelty to being labelled grub of the devil in less than two weeks which surely must be an Olympic record on some level. As one of the Game's sponsors the people at Nature Valley are obviously following a maximum exposure strategy which makes those carpet-like bars pretty damn hard to avoid and which, when you think about it, makes them the nutritional equivalent of the ever-present rain. But judging by the clever and witty comments that the mere mention of Nature Valley provokes on Facebook I suspect liking (or disliking) Nature Valley has simply become another way for us volunteers to bond in what could have otherwise become a potentially lonesome experience.

And I guess it's the same with the rain. Yes, we might get drenched while the world is watching and some us might even slip. But someone is bound to crack a joke and make it all better. Because this is London 2012. While we may not have 28 degrees and sunshine or Gene Kelly's mood enhancers we do have Nature Valley, granulated tea to dunk them in and a bloody good sense of humour.

 

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