Serbia got the Bronze and their Prime Minister was there to cheer for them. I escorted them from the stand to the lounge and it took forever as every step he was being stopped to shake hands, kiss and be in photos with Serbians. At least, he's popular.
I acted as a buffer between an Italian lady from the press and some Croatian escort to a Mayor (or some other dignitary), who were next to each other cheering or booing accordingly and then giving each other evil looks.
Two other volunteers were chosen to chaperone the Medal & Flower presenters for the Victory Ceremony but I was asked to coordinate them both. Five of the presenters were in the stand so they had to be escorted to the Green Room and one of them was in the lounge. Yumilka Ruíz Luaces, an ex-volleyball player from Cuba and member of the IOC had no interested in the game whatsoever. She spend the evening in the lounge sampling the catering and watching basketball. I went to fetch her.
The thing with this job is that it's your job to make sure it happens. Everyone else wants to just have fun or can't be bothered with it. I found her eating in the lounge. She looked surprised, even a bit annoyed that she had to interrupt her dinner for this. Once she got up, she decided to stop at the next table to chat to some Serbians. My manager noticed she was taking her time so told her we needed to leave NOW.
Enter the Green Room when two of the IOC members decided to have a chat while Caroline, Victory Ceremony escort was briefing everyone.
Waiting in the training pool for all the players to get ready is the most exciting bit. Everyone was jumping for joy. Even the Italians, who picked up the silver. Job done.
And then the job of getting everyone to the Olympic Stadium for the Closing Ceremony begins. Surprising that a lot did not go. I know, right? Once in a lifetime and all that. Not for everyone apparently. A lot of people wanted to just stay and eat rather than go to the Closing Ceremony. Priorities, people!
After everyone left, we debriefed, said our thanks and goodbyes and then some jumped in the pool. There were beers and photographic documents to prove it. The amount of times I've heard people saying to each other "See you in Rio?" are unreal. Some were so inspired, not to take up sport but, to learn Portuguese so they can go volunteer in Rio2016. That's dedication for you.
After all is said and done, I had the time of my life and things to talk about for years to come. I've really enjoyed my time. It was well worth the effort, the time off work and the long hours. My experience is priceless and if some bought it one way or the other, I would have never been able to. Met and worked with some great people, got to see Usain Bolt set a new Olympic record for free and sat next to Condoleezza Rice at the basketball semis. Oh and there was that thing with a water polo player.
It's been emotional. Thank you. Over and out.