Youth Scotland Area Coordinator returns from Olympics
Youth Scotland Area Coordinator John Nicolson was selected from over 250,000 applicants to be a volunteer 'Games Maker' at this year's Olympics.
Here, he shares his experiences of being part of the historical event;
"As someone who has been involved all their life in sport I was delighted to be selected as a Gamesmaker volunteer for the London Olympic Cycling Event Team.
After a few trips to London for various training I was offered a volunteering position as a course marshal on the road races at the start of the Olympics, and as a course flag marshal on the mountain biking races.
For the road races I was based outside the Box Hill circuit in Surrey and my Olympic dream lasted all of thirty seconds as the pelaton only took that time to approach and pass. Most disappointing!
However, the six days at the mountain biking course on Hadleigh Farm in Essex was amazing. The four days of practice before the race provided an opportunity to meet and talk to elite atheletes from around the world. All had different stories of their dedication and commitment to the sport, with different levels of support. This ranged from the Swiss team which comprised top bike mechanics with every piece of biking kit available, to the competitor from Guam who was there on his own. He only had one bike and did all his own repairs - some of the Gamesmakers chipped in to buy new tyres for him from the local bike club!
The race saw crowds of around 20,000 each day. Both races were live on the BBC with a global audience of approximately 4 million, so no pressure to get things right! The support for the GB riders was ear shattering. Unfortunately the male GB rider landed at my feet with a fractured ankle, which ended his race.
I have been a volunteer with youth projects for the past 28 years but this volunteering opportunity left me with so many great memories and loads of new friends. I have already signed up for the Glasgow 2014 Frontrunners programme, and would recommend volunteering at events like this to anyone."
Massive congratulations John! Inspired to get on your bike? See what youth groups are doing to promote cycling in their area with Bike Club in Scotland...