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By Izzie Radley
And so it’s all over! I can’t really believe The Games have finished and my Olympic experience is at an end.
After the Opening Ceremony, came three more seven hour rehearsals for what was to be the second of two of the greatest shows on earth. The Closing Ceremony was much more of a celebration and rightly so.
The atmosphere was electric in the stadium and in the dressing rooms. It was very different to the Opening Ceremony but not particularly in a bad way… just different.
We arrived at the stadium at 10am on Sunday morning and after two hours in hair and make-up I had begun the transformation into one of the 205 flag escorts who would be walking out to a full stadium for the last time accompanying the top athletes from each country.
Close-up we looked ridiculous with over the top make-up and scraped back hair, held in place by a diamante decorated cable tie – which was so painful I went through half a packet of Ibuprofen during the day! We were reassured however, that it would look fine from the distance of the stadium and would look good on television. I am still not entirely convinced but it was an experience nonetheless!
For this ceremony, our dressing room was right next to the VIP dressing room, which meant we brushed shoulders with more or less all the celebs that were featured during the show. It was one of the most surreal experiences I’ve ever had and probably will ever have! From David Beckham, visiting Posh to the beautiful Annie Lennox, Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell.
At one point Harry and Louis from One Direction were standing right by us and I had no idea. Even when pointed out I was clueless but the volunteer child cast seemed very excited by it all!
Walking out of the vom [large entrance to the arena] for the last time on Sunday evening caused another rollercoaster of emotions. This time for different reasons. It was exciting, nerve-wracking but also a little sad. The Olympics and the Ceremonies have been a big part of my life for the last nine months and I can easily say the best part since July.
I’ve been lucky enough to not only be a part of the two best shows on earth but see three different events live – including Usain Bolt’s stunning 200m final. As I stood facing the crowd listening to Elbow perform ‘One Day’, standing behind my athlete Luan Gabriel, it not only hit me what I’d been a part of but it equally hit me that it was now over and I’d have to go back to everyday life without having the buzz of the Olympic Games in the air.
2012 has been a massive year for the UK and I hope we can all create and maintain the desired legacy. It truly has been a stunning Olympic Games and we should all be very proud to be British! I know I certainly am.