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Images from London 2012 added September 18th 2012

Images from London 2012 added September 18th 2012

18th September 2012

Those of you who have been following the blog might have been wondering why the delay in writing the final episode. The truth is I don't really want it to finish, it has been a great learning experience and the best fun, I have enjoyed everything about it. The weekends in London, the training, people speaking to me on the tube (yes really), kids running after me in the park to ask about my day. This for someone who just gave up two weeks for the greatest show on earth, how the athletes come down after this I really don't know. Anyway it is all over but I am determind to take this feeling with me in the future. I have met fabulous people and have some perfect memories. I also have many souvenirs - my bronze, silver and gold badges courtesy of Macdonalds; my baton and lovely email from Seb and a letter yesterday from the Prime Minister thanking me for my contribution. I realise it sounds like hyperboly but this has been life changing and I hope you all had a fabulous experience either at the Games or the excitement of the television coverage. Thanks for reading the diary, it will provide a great momento for me.

12th September 2012

Hard to know what to say now, very mixed feelings as the games are all over. I am happy to be back at work and thrilled everyone is pleased to hear how it all went but sad that it is all over. The parade was a perfect end, saw the whole of Team and Paralympic GB from the glorious St Pauls Cathedral. Met a new friend on the way there and had a perfect day finishing in true British style in the pub watching the rest of the coverage on television. Have to mention Boris's speech - absolute class. I have still to watch the end of the closing ceremony but don't want to see the flame die just yet, might save that to do with friends at the weekend. I have some great memories with photos from the games and parade so will get them on the website as soon as I can and write once more to end what has been a life changing experience.

9th September 2012

Very sad day today as my Paralympic journey has almost come to an end, worked my last shift today and mixed feelings when it finished. Sad it was all over but must admit very tired as went to the Proms in the Patk last night (fabulous - you must go!)and not back until 12.30pm then up at 3.30am! So in need of a good nights sleep and will review later. Off to see the parade through London tomorrow and hoping to get a good spot to see everyone - will be so inspiring as this whole experience has been. So a bottle of champagne tonight and the closing ceremony, hope you all enjoy the festival of flames.

7th September 2012

What a fantastic night of paralympic sport last night. I was at a very funny performance of 'Yes, Prime Minister' but couldn't resist keeping an eye on the results coming through. Thoroughly enjoyed the highlights when I got in. Have another day off today after a frantic day in the Polyclinic yesterday, from about 9.30am we never looked up until after 2pm, was really ready for my lunch by then! Lovely people coming in some whose games are over and some whose games are over but have shiney medals to show for it. Fantastic atmosphere! Was surprised the day before when it was reveiled we have ate our way through 20,000 Cadburys chocolates between Saturday and Tuesday - just as well I'm working hard as my clothes woudln't fit when I came home. Off to Wimbledon today for a wander and lunch with a friend in glorious sunshine, hope you have an equally good day. Keep watching the paras still medals in contention for GB today.

5th September 2012

An unusual day today as I was asked to go to one of the Paralympic training venues as a sports massage therapist was required to be available. Travelled to Newham and met the organiser and the physiotherapist but quiet regarding athletes. Watched a few track athletes go through their paces and then got cracking packing up the medical room. Pleased to say none of the serious first aid stuff had been used so obviously no major incidents which is what we want. Heard at Stratford that we are eating our own body weight in Cadbury's chocolate - so pleased they sponsored the games.

4th September 2012

Hey finally a day off! A chance to join the real world and see if anything is happening other than Paralympic Sport. The village is cocooned in itself and the television constantly on watching the events as they happen so hard to believe life going on as normal around us. Lovely Addidas have generously offered Games Makers a great discount off some of their sports lines so think I might take advantage while I can. I have to say it is a beautiful day here, couldn't have hoped for a better one. The tiredness is starting to take hold now after 7 shifts without a break and around 10.30pm last night we saw around a dozen people all enter the polyclinic. With eyes on the lift to see if they wanted massage we all prepared for another treatment but must have all gone to physio - late night for them.

3rd September 2012

I never thought I'd say this but will be glad to swap back to early shifts! Travelling so much easier and strangely less tired from early than late. Maybe my body clock is re-timing itself? Had a good night last night as steady with massage but not frantic. We are lucky enough to have a television in our waiting area which means we often have a crowd and managed to join spectators for Oscar Pistorius last night (although not the result we expected) then was back in time to cheer on David Weir. It is a testament to the spirit of the athletes and the games that during David Weir's race athletes from another country watched with us enjoying our shouts and cheers for a home grown hero. Beautiful day down here in London, the stadium will sparkle in the sunshine.

2nd September 2012

Finished my first late shift yesterday and getting to the venue was ... interesting. So many more people travelling in the middle of the day. Managed to get away a little earlier (thanks to my colleagues for that) and walked through the athletes village to exit. It is like a 'bubble' you're surrounded by, a unique place to be where you are safe, secure and have the freedom to prepare for competition in your own way. There were a few people walking around, a few in the 'pub with no beer' and one athlete outside their apartment training late. Otherwise all quiet as the competition gets more and more serious. Quite a shock when you get to Stratford International to see the hundreds of people trying to leave! I really thought I would miss the last train but credit to London Transport and LOCOG I was there with time to spare. Fingers crossed it goes as smoothly again this evening.

31st August 2012

Have survived four early shifts (hurrah), getting up at 4am for a 6.30am start isn't what I'm used to. Thankfully most of you wouldn't need to see me that early once I am back home! Really enjoying working in the Polyclinic, have a lovely team to be with and the athletes and their support staff have all been fantastic. Hard watching events now as so many nice people want them all to get medals. Chatted with a wheelchair basketball referee this morning and feel more clued up now so looking forward to that tonight. GB not doing so well in this event but the USA ladies are very nice and I am cheering them on! Walked through the Athlete's Village this afternoon where the atmosphere has changed since Tuesday, the difference now competition has begun is in the air. Bought a couple of exclusive things in the shop which will make great mementos or gifts if I can part with them. My first late tomorrow so no alarm necessary in the morning, what luxury! Off to meet friends for coffee before heading back to work, think the late shifts will be busier as the athletes arrive after their events. Hoping so anyway.

<28th August 2012

First day as a sports massage therapist to the Paralympic teams was fabulous. Slow to start but got busier as the day went on which was perfect, time to find my way around then into the work I love. So interesting although realised my schoolgirl French (my only attempt at another language unless you want coffee or wine!) is not as good as it might be but managed to muddle through with help from patient athletes and equally patient colleagues. Don't know who to cheer for in some of the events as too many lovely competitors, maybe will just have to sit back and simply marvel at them all. Had a 4am start today so expecting to be VERY tired quite soon!

25th August 2012

Serious countdown now as the time draws near to travel to London for the Games to begin. Have finished all work appointments now until 12th September but will be taking my appointment book with me and still contactable on the usual numbers or by email. I am really excited now I am focused on preparing and packing, oh the decision of what to take! Can't wait to get there and get going, have been researching some of the athletes and considering how I can help benefit them as a sports massage therapist.

20th August

Fantastic weekend in London, visited the Olympic Park on Friday afternoon. Some stunning views from the viewing platform and really busy. Then in the village on Sunday to see where I will be working next week. The polyclinic is modern and airy and perfectly suited to our purpose, so much available for the athletic teams. The village itself was very calm yesterday in the blistering London sunshine and I can easily imagine it will provide refuge from the competition and constant media presence. Can't wait for it all to begin.

16th August 2012

Excited about going to London tomorrow for my venue training! London was an Olympic city a couple of weeks ago it will be interesting to see if the atmosphere is any different in this inbetween period. I hear Paralympic ticket sales have really taken off quite rightly so, we look on target to inspire a generation. PS Achilles seems to be fine, I guess 3 days walking around London will test it.

15th August 2012

While massaging away at work yesterday afternoon a client asked when the Paralympics started and I realised that 2 weeks yesterday I would be there! I would almost have finished my first shift, how thrilling. So I need countdown markers now and will use Tuesdays - yesterday's realisation that it is very close now, next Tuesday (weather allowing) I have my first ride in a hot air balloon (yes I know) and then the following Tuesday it all begins. I will still be working the Tuesday following and return home the one after that. So Tuesday countdown begins!

14th August 2012

So the Olympic Games are finished and haven't they been fantastic? I am sure the broadcasters must be running out of adjectives to describe the phenomenal athletes we have witnessed. Reports this week suggest the country is happier and more friendly than before. Thankfully we have the Paralympics to come which will be equally amazing and uplifting and then the work begins. How do we keep this going and achieve the Games objective of inspiring a generation? I am not going to speculate but so far the games have delivered everything they promised so I believe they will creat a lasting and postive legacy for GB. Regarding my own preparation the pain in my heel turned out to be an Achilles problem. As any sports therapist will tell you I followed the plan - ice, some rest (not much as busy busy!), stretching, exercise and kinesio taping. After a few days it is much better so working so far.

11th August 2012

Slowed my training a bit today as medial calf a bit painful. For those of you used to my usual injury advice you will be pleased to know I rested, iced and stretched. Such a good girl I am! Got some administration ready for when I'm in London so feel it's getting closer. One final word - Mo Farar Gold star and fingers crossed for Tom Daley.

10th August 2012

Busy preparation day today. Off to work in Jesmond this morning to complete a mail out list then a little games shopping, stocking up on what I need to take away. Then another visit to the gym which I am quite looking forward to - not like me at all! Have a niggling ache in my heel so need to get that checked out, keep your fingers crossed for me it is nothing long term.

9th August 2012

Watched an interview with the inspirational Jessica Ennis last night. She was asked about the legacy fo the games and helping children into sport, perhaps allowing them to develop that competitive spirit. Her thoughts were to allow children to 'enjoy' sport and that competitiveness can come later and develop. I was never really good at sport at school but have continued to exercise well throughout my adult life and tried so many different things. I am possibly the least competitve person in the country but I am driven when I set goals. I think Miss Ennis has a good point if children are allowed to experiment with sport and fitness, have fun and enjoy themselves the drive will come to improve if they want it. Maybe part of the legacy is sport doesn't have to hurt, it can be just great fun.

8th August

Feeling good today after increasing my workout yesterday. I did work up to the increase and kept it in line with the work I had been doing. Then stretched well, ate light nutritious food and hydrated. I am living proof it all works. Have to go now Laura Stott and Sir Chris Hoy on Breakfast!

7th August 2012

Upped my workout this morning as inspiring watching the olympics while training. I am not really a gym fan but enjoying it at the moment - will see if it lasts. Met a friend who was at the Aquatics Centre last week and had a fabulous time, full of praise. All adding to my already overexcitement and that is before the incomparable Sir Chris Hoy and Victoria Pendleton hit the Velodrome. Going to watch the lovely Sir Chris with a friend, if I scream loud enough do you think they'll hear my support?

6th August 2012

Spent yesterday afternoon signing on to Twitter (finally). It is such an wasy way to keep up to date with all the Games action - why didn't I do this last weekend? It is something I have intended to do for a while and think it will be a great way to keep in touch with clients while I am at the Paralympic Games. If you want to keep up with me click on the icon on the home page.

5th August 2012

Just back from London yesterday and have my lovely new uniform and accessories. Opened everything out this morning like a child on Christmas day! The atmosphere in London is fabulous, I have travelled there for over 20 years on a regular basis and never witnessed anything quite like it. So easy to get about and everyone it seems is there for the Games. So many people in uniform and the transport better than usual on a summers day, everyone at the stations cheerful and helpful. Was very excited when I got back and then what happens? Jessica Ennis, Greg Rutherford and Mo Farrar - all gold! Then as I write this (please ignore any mistakes purely down to Mr. Murray!) Andy Murray - don't want to jinx it but... come on Andy!!

2nd August 2012

Wow what a great day for Team GB - medals in lots of disciplines. Adds to my excitement for the next couple of days when I am in London. Collect my uniform tomorrow so will read all the latest Olympic news on the train down there. Then to add to this year of 'new experiences and challenges' I am going on a Duck Tour on Saturday morning. Will let you know all about it when I return.

1st August 2012

Very exciting telephone call last night with my lovely friend Anne who has been to the Olympics. I am delighted to report the transport was great, the directions were great, the atmosphere was great... I guess what she was saying was it was FABULOUS and a must-do experience. I am so glad to hear that as there has been negative publicity about transport and tickets. Go with an open mind and your enthusiasm for the chance to be part of Team GB in a supportive role. Thinking if the weather is kind to me might go and have a look when I'm in London at the weekend to collect my uniform.

31st July 2012

Making slow progress this morning. Getting my paperwork together as I'm off to London to collect my uniform at the weekend and sorting out travel arrangements. If I wasn't so distracted by the Equestrian event this morning would have got on much quicker! I'm nearly scared to say but we do have a chance of gold here (cross everything!). Anyway have been for a run, sorted out what I need for the weekend especially identification need to try to get some work done and STOP watching the sport. Is anyone else having the same problem?

30th July 2012

I have to admit I am really quite excited now about getting to the Paralympics. The opening ceremony was stunning and I loved the idea of Sir Steven Redgrave and other top British Olympians passing the torch to the next generation and 206 petals all lit representing each country competing amalgamating into one perfect cauldron. I really don't have the words to express and stayed with it until the very end at about 1am. The only thing I will say is how jealous am I of her Majesty, escorted to the ceremony by none other than James Bond! What a fabulous touch just need lots of medals now!

26th July 2012

It seems we are all invited to do our bit for the start of the games tomorrow morning in a project called 'All The Bells'. At 8.12am exactly 12 hours before the games begin there is a national bell ringing event. Now I haven't included bell ringing in my training but I intend to set my alarms and mobile phone to ring at 8.12am (luckily I don't need to leave the house until 8.30am). Wherever you are if it all possible do your bit, as I have said before this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to feel part of something. So let's synchronize watches for 'operation all the bells'.

25th July 2012

I've had my first disappointment of the games today (well last night really). The final episode of 'Twenty Twleve', British comedy and acting at its best. I will miss it but apparently there is a DVD on the way so a glimmer of laughter.

24th July 2012

Well I've had two new lessons today to help my preparations. First a lesson from the weekend as I am really struggling to speak today. I was teaching at the weekend and therefore talking a lot and raising my voice and as a result seem to be losing it now. I may need to do a sponsored silence prior to my departure to make sure it doesn't go during the games when I need it (no doubt my silence will be welcomed by many!). My second lesson I found in an email about some research carried out at Stanford University and the University of Minnesota. Apparently "Regular awe-inspiring experiences may improve our mental health and make us nicer people". With all the awe-inspiring people and events going on across the UK in the next few weeks at the Olympic and Paralympic Games the whole country could learn to be nicer place to live by mid-September.

23rd July 2012

What a busy weekend with more Paralympic arrangements. Have now booked all my travel and accomodation for the games so feel very organised although I expect the traffic will be heavy once I arrive in London. I have also been added to the Role of Honour on the Sports Massage Association website along with other gamesmakers. I have to say a word about Bradley Wiggins - inspirational! Back in training today for the Olympics surely this is a sign we are going to do well in the Olympic cycling events.

20th July 2012

Well I survived my massage marathon day yesterday and really enjoyed it. I was working with a local company from 11am and saw 6 clients an hour for 4 hours then went to work in the clinic. It was challenging and very interesting, so many different personalities and so many things to discuss. For a varied working day I would highly recommend it but it does challenge the therapist in that people ask such a variety of questions you need to be alert. So good training for the Paralympics in working hard and being attuned to a wide range of clients. Hoping for an early finish today!

19th July 2012

Quite a good massage challenge today that will help me prepare for the hours at the Games. I am working at a corporate event this morning and into the afternoon then have a quick dash to the clinic for 4pm to begin client session. My only worry is the traffic - hope it is kind to me! Shame we don't have Games lanes here for getting to work.

18th July 2012

I watched the fabulous 'Twenty Twelve' again last night and it does have that feel of 'life imitating art' to it. The man in charge claimed to be organising the Games "with a hole in my foot and a mobile phone". Well after all this is Britain and we pioneered an Industrial Revolution without any sort of telephone and we did it well so he is one up on them. I couldn't help thinking about the chaos G4S seem to have created (thanks heavens for the Armed Forces and Police) and when one of the team commented they were "running out of feet to shoot ourselves in" I really hoped the boss was watching.

17th July 2012

I had a really uplifting day at work yesterday. I am getting tired of reading about the controversy and the problems with London 2012. What about all the good things about hosting the Games and what about all the things going well? Yesterday I spoke with 4 people in the clinic who are really looking forward to the Games and excited for the start. Thank heavens! The Games are happening very soon whatever anyone thinks or feels. So surely it's time to get on board and celebrate what we do well. Let's start getting behind our athletes and our capital.

16th July 2012

Yesterday we saw British sportsmanship in all it's glory. The Tour de France was sabotaged when tacks were thrown on the road and some of the cyclists suffered punctures. British rider and holder of the coveted yellow jersey, Bradley Wiggins, slowed the peleton to allow his rival Cadel Evans to fix the puncture and rejoin the race. How gentlemanly and how sporting, he has certainly set the tone for our Games.

12th July 2012

There has been quite a bit of discussion in the media this week about whether or not Andy Murray should have shared so much public emotion after the Wimbledon final. I think it proves how invested he was in the match and actually how invested all sports people are in their chosen field. I also think we need to get used to such displays. I am hoping for lots more as British athletes standing on the podium with their medals and the national anthem playing. Might be time to stock up on the tissues!

11th July 2012

I watched the new series of Twenty Twelve last night, an hilarious satire of the preparation for the London Olympics and Paralympics. It is politically incorrect, full of euphamisms and hyperboly. It is jargon-laden and full of people full of their own importance. It is also brilliant, I was still laughing out loud after it had finished! Having sat in meetings in previous jobs I can see some truth in it but whether it is true for the Games Committee - watch it next week and draw your own conclusions. My wish for you today - I hope you don't need to be 'catastrophizing' and I sincerely hope you'get maple syrup on your waffle'. Class.

10th July 2012

I learned a valuable lesson this morning about working at the Paralympics. I set my alarm to get up early again as I have a lot to do today. It went off 10 minutes early so I thought ooh lovely I can have a few more more minutes... and woke up an hour later! So the moral in the story - when the alarm goes off, GET UP!

9th July 2012

Sticking to my plan to have a few early mornings in preparation for my early shifts at the Paralympics. Couldn't resist catching up with the news on Breakfast and seems I'm not the only one that Andy Murray won over yesterday. They are showing youngsters playing tennis in London this morning and it is only 6.20am. Maybe he has shown us dedication and heart and this is one of the main messages of the Olympics. Get out there and try, dedicate yourself to being the best you can, be an inspiration. If tennis isn't your thing then search for something else you can excell in. I am working on my own fitness programme from today and following a new 6-week plan, wish me luck. One final word for today to congratulate Roger Federer, what can you say about such a deserving champion? He is the ultimate inspirational sportsman and of course to Briton Jonny Marray who did win in the men's doubles, very well done to him.

8th July 2012

Well another Wimbledon over and done with, always a bit of a let down for me as an avid tennis fan. However, I have to admit not for the first time I have had my thoughts and maybe prejudices challenged. In 2008 there was what was perhaps the best final ever between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal and although I started in Federer's camp I ended in Nadal's. I didn't swap because Nadal won but becasue he deserved to win, he scrapped for every point and it would have been heartbreaking if he had lost. Today the best man won in Federer but Andy Murray deserved to be at the other side of the net. I have been less than kind in my remarks about Andy Murray being just not good enough but in his own words he is "getting closer" and for the first time today I believed he might just do it. He was so upset at the end and it is to his credit he allowed his emotions to surface. The sporting environment is one of the few arenas in which it is acceptable in fact appropriate for adults to show emotion, generally public displays of grown up emotion are frowned upon. I think I may not be the only new admirer Andy Murray found today. I only hope we see as much determination, talent and emotion in the Olympics from British ahtletes and again from Andy Murray, I salute you.

7th July 2012

I have spent time at work over the past couple of months helping people who are taking on new sporting challenges this year; some to raise money for charity but mainly for that personal challenge. Clients have run a marathon for the first time or taken on a Tour de France style cycle ride. Last weekend I supported people who have recently taken up cycling and took part in the Cyclone Event in Newcastle – all successfully I am pleased to report. However, I think they already have success as they have risen to a challenge and applied themselves to something new and different. Really they are winners when they enrol or when they get to the start line. In this Olympic year challenges are all around and heroes very visible, so what will you do?

4th July 2012

Firstly Happy 4th July to any American readers! The time is coming soon to travel to London 2012 to compete in the greatest show on earth. Here in the UK it has been a weekend of sport to use a well worn phrase. World Cup holders Spain won the football for Euro 2012 so now must head into the Olympics as favourites. The Tour de France has begun with Britons in with a real chance of success. Bradley Wiggins is a contender to win although Mark Cavendish may have one eye on his Olympic bid. Wimbledon is well under way with Andy Murray playing well into this second week. Although as a fan of the oh-so-pretty Rafael Nadal I don’t want to discuss the tennis any further, other than to say estare de vuelta (I’ll be back)!

3rd July 2012

I have recently signed up for the Jubilee Hour, it has been set up to honour the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and aims to encourage everyone to get involved in their community. It is a great coincidence that the Jubilee has come in our Olympic year as this scheme is full of the spirit of the Olympics. The idea is that we are all encouraged to donate an hour; 60 minutes so one minute for every year of Queen Elizabeth’s reign. With 168 hours in every week think what we can achieve if we all offer one hour to volunteer to do something to help others. I used my hour to raise funds for Arthritis Research UK and Macmillan Cancer Support. I will do more as I am giving two weeks of time to the Paralympics and I am so looking forward to it. There is a view that volunteer work is a waste of time but it feels really good. If you are lucky enough yourself to enjoy your job as I do then it is great to do something for others. At my training day in London one of the organisers said that although we are not paid for volunteering and will be out of pocket, no-one should leave the Olympics having got nothing out of it. I think once it’s all over and I reflect it will feel like one of the best things I have ever done and to think I did it without financial reward will feel really good.

2nd July 2012

Well I thought I'd have an early start this morning to see how well I am going to do with my early Olympic shifts. I have been up and about since 5.30am and actually have got quite a bit done. The biggest problem in doing this at home is there is so much that could be done I think I am going to be flying out the door to get to work on time! Good practice although I may need my bed by 5pm!

1st July 2012

Well my Olympic preparations got a boost on Friday when I had a lesson from a very kind friend in British Sign Language. The organisers had asked all the volunteers to learn to sign their name (trust me I am very happy I have a short name!) but I thought I'd try and learn a few useful phrases. So I can say hello and ask how someone is, ask about the massage and what sport they participate in. Also thought it would be good to know the sign for 'toilet' in case I am asked. However, as a non-medic in the Medical Team my key phrase is "you wait here and I will get a Doctor!". Well you never know, better safe than sorry. Will keep up the practice as surprisingly enjoyable, I feel a real sense of achievement.

27th June 2012

I was listening to Desert Island Discs on Sunday where comedian John Bishop was the special guest. If you’ve never listened to it I can recommend it as a great radio show! Mr. Bishop was talking about turning his life around really. He left a job that didn’t fulfil him and took a chance at stand up. He talked about ‘professional moaners’ who wish life was better but aren’t willing to do anything to make it better, they prefer to moan about their lack of opportunities. I found this very inspiring and I know the type of person he means and I really don’t want to be one of them. Every athlete taking part in the Olympics has decided not to wait for an opportunity but to create one and when the chance of glory comes to grab it with both hands. Surely it is better to reach for your dreams than always wonder ... what if? Take your inspiration from this and whatever your dream is look to make it happen, professional moaners are not good company and you don’t want to be one of them. What have you got to lose?

22nd June 2012

Well the Olympic torch is leaving the north east where I live and I am watching a replay of events on the local news. It really does seem to have brought communities together. I saw it pass by the end of my road on Saturday lunchtime and there were so many people there for what amounts to a few seconds of seeing the torch pass by. It certainly makes me proud to be British and to be hosting the games. This community spirit bodes well for the games but also for the country.

15th June 2012

Jusr returned from seeing the Olympic torch arrive in Newcastle. There was a huge crowd on the quayside across Newcastle and Gateshead as Bear Grylls swung off the Tyne Bridge with the torch. I was particularly interested in seeing hime do this as I am following the torch tomorrow and doing the zip wire off the Tyne Bridge to raise money for Arthritis Research UK. Could have done without hearing it was 200 feet high and tomorrow will be wet with quite a strong wind! Oh well if the torch made it safely down maybe I can take comfort from that. Will let you know how I get on. Exciting to see the cauldron lit, guess the next time I see that will be at the Games.

12th June 2012

I loved all the Jubilee celebrations last weekend – we Brits really do that kind of thing so well. I don’t know when I have felt more proud to be British. The support even in the pouring rain was phenomenal – and again very British. It bodes well for the upcoming games that we can put on such a show and that the British people will support such an event. I also thought if anyone is looking for a role model of being loyal, dedicated and steadfast to a cause you could not do better than look to Her Majesty the Queen. Dame Kelly Holmes was interviewed by the BBC and said it is time to show the “great in Great Britain" and I feel that is a perfect start to our Olympic Games. We have proved this weekend we can achieve great things and have a great country, it is time to be proud and get behind the next big thing – the Olympic Games, London 2012.

9th June 2012

I have been watching my favourite spectator sport this week during Roland Garros from Paris. I was surprised to see British Andy Murray carrying on with a back injury. It proves the mindset of a top class athlete over us mere mortals. It was a tournament he was (in my humble opinion) unlikely to win and I am certain had it been me I would have abandoned the game and saved myself for the Olympics and Wimbledon. Credit to him for going on and winning not only that match but a further two matches before being defeated. Maybe that is why he is competing in the Olympics and I am working at the Olympics! Either way I hope he is as excited about it all as I am.

25th May 2012

I heard a brief interview with one of the Olympic torch bearers who happened to be a breast cancer survivor. She said that this was just “ordinary people representing their communities”. How humble, how true and how British, another chance to show the world what can be achieved by ordinary people getting on with life. I am already planning my day to try to see the torch as it passes through my hometown.

23rd May 2012

On Friday evening I watched the Olympic flame arrive on British soil – unfortunately to typical British weather. It arrived on a golden plane with a huge crowd and some very special people involved in the games. On the side of the plane was written ‘our moment to shine’ and isn’t it just. The crowd gathered was huge for a windy Friday night although I’m sure some of that had to do with the presence of a certain David Beckham – the man charged with the nerve wracking job of lighting the cauldron in a strong wind. I do think this type of event is very British and we do it better than anyone. The eyes of the world will be on our country for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and then the Olympic and Paralympic Games and I hope we shine as only we can. The time is here now to get behind our country and our athletes and show our pride in Great Britain.

13th May 2012

So the torch has been lit (twice!) and is on it's way to London. It is a shining symbol of the games to come lighting the way ahead. The games, the athletes, the spectators, the volunteers, the press - the world are preparing to make their own journey to London. I am also preparing for my journey and as part of my training I am observing a disability in dance class. I love dancing and admit I am hoping I may be asked to join in, if not will certainly be foot-tapping in time. Will let you know how we get on.

4th May 2012

Just back from an olympic role specific training day in London. Very impressed with the organisation going on - seems the Medical Team have thought of everything. I really hadn't quite comprehended the scale of what is happening. Obviously we all know the games are going to be huge but the scale of things really hit home on Wednesday. Starting to feel I am going to be part of something really special. Learnt a lot, for example did you know this is the first time the Medical team have allowed sports massage to be part of their profile? This is a huge platform for us massage therapists to prove we have a skill and a value in the sporting field.

30th April 2012

Just watched a short Television piece about Oscar Pistorius- Blade Runner. He is a gold medal paralympian who began by saying “I’ve got 2 disabilities, millions of abilities”. What an amazing attitude we could all adopt. Everyone has things they cannot do or cannot do well but the focus should be on what we can do and not what we can’t. What an inspirational athlete but I think this will be a summer of inspiration as the world’s best athletes flock to London. Funnily enough this program ‘inspired’ me to check the Olympic website for news and guess what? The London 2012 motto is “Inspire a generation”! I don’t know about you but it’s working for me already.

28th April 2012

In preparation for delivering massage at the Paralympic Games I watched the wheelchair basketball at Percy Hedley Sport Academy in Killingworth on Monday night. How fabulous but how tough - they really go for it! I hadn’t realised basketball was so fast and actually so complicated to a beginner; so many rules. I have no doubts that I could not have joined in, I just do not have enough upper body strength to compete with these guys and yet I think I am pretty fit and healthy. I think maybe I should stick to my chosen profession and concentrate on massaging their tight muscles once they’re finished.

23rd April 2012

I watched in awe yesterday as some 36,000 runners took to the streets of London, a magnificent achievement and my congratulations to everyone who entered. London looked amazing and the cameras kept sweeping past the Olympic venues teasing us with what is to come. The London crowds were out in force and this only shows what we can do to welcome and celebrate the Olympics this year. I could feel the excitement even from my own sofa here in Newcastle and cannot wait to be there and a part of it. GB did well in the marathon regarding Olympic places with Claire Hallissey putting herself in contention for a place and our male and female paralympians David Weir and Shelley Wood both winning their races for Great Britain. Sadly Lee Merrien missed the Olympic qualifying time despite running a great race. I hope this has sparked everyone’s enthusiasm for the London games, it certainly has mine.

Exciting news!

Following a recent interview I have been offered a role as a sports massage therapist at the Paralympics! This not only provides a once in a lifetime experience of being part of the olympics while they are in the UK but a chance to work with athletes from so many different disciplines. I am in London for a training day in May and will keep you posted with my progress.

Helen Richardson

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