BU stars at Olympic and Paralympic Games

Posted on Tuesday, September 11 2012

London’s affiliation with the Olympic and Paralympic Games came to an end on Sunday night with the emphatic closing of the Paralympic Games. But the legacy of these Games will continue as some of Bournemouth University’s staff members and students return from volunteering and working during the events.

The Games drew the world’s attention – as they eagerly watched and cheered the performances of their athletes. A selection of Bournemouth University students played an integral part in the media coverage of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Picked in advance to help with the broadcasting of the Games, these students now have the chance to recall their experiences, memories and successes.

Rob Grieve was a camera assistant on the field of play for the ceremonies and athletics and studies Television Production at Bournemouth University. He sums up his experience of the events saying, “We followed Usain [Bolt] on his laps of honour after his 100m and 4x100m wins, and I did get to high-five him and Johan Blake, and also shake Blake’s hand on another occasion. I also got to say good luck to Mo Farah as we were filming his entrance into the stadium for the 10000m with Jess Ennis in the background on her lap of honour!”

Rob continued, “[I am] living the dream with a once in a lifetime experience and acknowledging how lucky I am to have been in such a privileged position and indulge myself in this superb opportunity. A summer I will never forget.”

Another student, Ugne Ciesiunaite, worked as an audio assistant for the equestrian events during the Olympic Games and studies Television Production at BU. She said, “I didn’t really expect to ever work at an Olympics, but because it came to Bournemouth University [when students were recruited to work at the Olympics] I thought it was an excellent opportunity that I could not have had anywhere else.”

BU student Ben Cornish, who also studied Television Production, was a camera operator in the Aquatics Centre for the Olympic Games and a camera assistant at the Paralympic Games. One of his responsibilities during the Olympic Games included operating the underwater periscope camera, used to film athletes while they are underwater.

Ben said, “So far I have seen all sorts, varying from athletes to Kate Middleton and David Cameron. One of my shots showed Kate Middleton and it was shown on the TV. In fact, I was watching television the other day and saw a programme about all the medals that had been won at the Olympics and during the Michael Phelps section I saw that they used my periscope camera footage, it’s great to see that my work is still being used.”

It has not just been students that have worked at the Olympic and Paralympic Games as a number of staff members also volunteered for positions at the events. Debbie Sadd is a lecturer in BU’s School of Tourism and worked as a Games Maker at the Olympics. She was tasked with looking after journalists and photographers in the basketball arena. Talking about her involvement in the Games, Debbie said, “I was gobsmacked with how well organised it was. Everyone was walking around with smiles on their faces – everyone was happy!”

Beth Shephard is a Projects Officer within the Student Academic Services (SAS) at BU and also worked as a Games Maker. Specifically she worked as a Games Maker as part of the Venue Entry Team (Security) at the Olympic Park.

“I had a fantastic time and can honestly say it will be something that I remember for the rest of my life. The best part of the experience was knowing that I was helping to ensure the spectators had the best possible experience of the Olympics. There was such a lovely atmosphere within the Olympic Park and it was great to be able to help visitors to their venues or taking photos for them and there was an incredible buzz of excitement across the park every single day, even at the start of a shift at 6.30am!”

With so many students and staff members involved it is impossible to highlight the hard work of all but our Olympic microsite gives more information about BU’s involvement at the Games – you can read about it at BU and the 2012 Olympics.

The post-London 2012 talk will be about the legacy that the Games has left on Britain, but at BU we already celebrating with our staff and students and the legacy they have helped to create.