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3rd Dec, 2021

Games glory revives Olympic memories for city mum

Rob George 12th Aug, 2016 Updated: 19th Oct, 2016

AS GREAT Britain continue to climb the medals table, the current Rio games has brought back fond memories for a Worcester mum who helped bring the biggest sporting event on the globe to London in 2012.

Observer editor Rob George discovered more about Caroline Hill’s Olympic memories.

“WE WERE clear, we wanted to inspire the youth of world and welcome everyone to London in 2012.”

The words of Caroline Hill who swapped the golden summer of 2012 for the gold topped Hive in Worcester following the games when she became events manager at the city’s landmark library.

The mother-of-two from Barbourne was part of the team that bid for the games to come to England in the first place.

She joined the bid team in February 2004 and worked in the International Relations section. It was her job to promote the bid not only in London but throughout the UK and around the world.

“One of the highlights of the bid for me was being invited to Buckingham Palace and meeting the Queen,” she said.

“She asked me which other cities were in the running to host 2012 and did I think London was in with a chance? No doubt about it in my mind.”

Caroline, who was a torchbearer at the Sydney Games 12 years earlier in 2000, was over the moon when it was announced in Singapore in 2005 that London had won the bid.

“After working on the bid team for two years and the organising committee for seven years, here I was at my home games in the Olympic Village helping athletes get ready to walk into the Olympic Stadium and proudly represent their country,” she said.

Caroline worked in the village at Games time as deputy manager of the Services Centre for team officials.

There were 205 competing countries, 10,500 athletes and the centre was open from 7am to 11pm every day.

“As soon as they landed in London they were our guests and we needed to look after them 24 hours a day,” she said.

“We had a team of 50 staff and 20 Games Makers volunteers working in the Services Centre who kept it running day and night – every single one of them an absolute star.

“To be in the heart of the Olympic Park at Games time working with the athletes of the world alongside these amazing people was just incredible.

“I was lucky enough to get to see quite a few events – beach volleyball, swimming, hockey, handball, basketball and a massive night in the Velodrome watching Sir Chris Hoy become GB’s most successful Olympic athlete of all time winning his sixth gold medal in front of his home crowd. It was spectacular.

“My highlight has to be Super Saturday though. This is the biggest night of athletics in the Olympics.

“We sat nervous and excited as Mo Farah, Jessica Ennis and Greg Rutherford won gold medals for Team GB all in the space of 44 minutes. It was indescribable, no feeling like it,” she said,

“Now all eyes are on Rio 2016 – good luck guys, it will be amazing. Enjoy making memories that will last a lifetime.”

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