The Olympic Games are over for another four years. Now all the excitement is dying down – until the Paralympics in two weeks’ time! – let’s hear some stories from those who had first-hand experience of London 2012.
Ethan Groves, 9 (nearly 10, near right), son of Stanford-le-Hope’s Community Evangelist Rob (far right), spent a day at the Games. here’s his story…
TT: How did you get to go to the Olympics? Who went?
EG: I won a competition with McDonald’s by registering my daily activity measured by a special watch into the Mascotathon website to give the Mascots, Wenlock and Mandeville Rainbow Power to get to the Olympic Stadiums. I took my Dad, Rob with me, my Mum wasn’t very happy!
TT: What did you win and when did you go?
EG: We won a 3 day trip to London, staying for two nights at the Lancaster Hotel from 5-7 August. The trip included a reception with an Olympic athlete, a Duck tour of London (land and river!), seats in the Athletic Stadium, a coach tour of London, dinner at The Rainforest Cafe and the chance to play volleyball on the centre court in Horseguards Parade!
TT: What was the hotel like where you stayed? What things in the hotel came as part of the prize?
EG: The hotel was wonderful, we had our own suite, with a walk-in wardrobe (for some reason Dad thought this was extra special). There was a playroom for all the winners with huge TV screens for playing games and an interactive board for doing drawing, table football, bean bags – it was awesome!
TT: Who looked after you? How did they look after you?
EG: A really nice team of people looked after us, taking us everywhere, they were working for McDonald’s.
TT: Did you meet any athletes or other famous people?
EG: I had my photo taken with Dean Macey a former UK decathlete and Denise Johns a UK Beach Volleyball player and I got both of their autographs too. My Dad walked past that Sophie woman off the telly.
TT: What was it like in the Olympic stadium?
EG: The stadium was amazing, it was so big! The noise was brilliant when everyone cheered or did a Mexican wave. We were sat in the sunshine so we got a bit hot!
TT: What events did you get to see?
EG: We saw heats and qualifying rounds of Men’s Discus, Women’s Shot, Men’s 800m, Women’s 1500m and Womens 100m Hurdles.
TT: What was the best bit of the whole prize?
EG: When we were at Horseguard’s Parade, one of the volunteers brought their Olympic torch along which they carried in the run up to the Olympics, I got to have my picture taken with it.
TT: What was the most memorable sporting action you saw?
EG: Probably, when the British Discus thrower qualified fourth with his final throw.
TT: Did you get any good memorabilia given you? If so, what?
EG: I got loads of pin badges, both cuddly mascots and loads of McDonald’s mascot toys, I also got clothes, trainers and a cap.
TT: Thanks for talking to Transformation Thurrock, Ethan!
Photos top to bottom as described by Ethan:
- Me N Dad
- Me N Dad Stadium
- Mens 800 Action
- Me N Dean Macey
- Denise Johns
All photos reproduced with the kind permission of Rob & Mandy Groves.