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The Medallist and the Volunteer

Ed Castro and Michael Jamieson

Swimmers Michael Jamieson and Ed Castro met at the Bath Intensive Training Centre, both hoping to compete at the London 2012 Olympic Games. While Michael went on to achieve his goal, Ed suffered a torn tendon in his shoulder, abruptly ending his competitive career.

However, Ed’s London 2012 story didn’t end there. While Michael prepared for the biggest week of his sporting career, Ed was still able to join in and be part of the action working as a volunteer at the Aquatics Centre. This is their story.

Ed: I was fortunate enough to be selected as an Athlete Services Team Member at the Aquatics Centre. It was a behind-the-scenes role in the prep room and warm-up area, making sure all the athletes were happy and had everything they needed.

Michael: The call room, where we all waited before walking out for our race, is where the goose bumps started. My dad has always told me to make the most of every opportunity and opportunities don’t get much bigger than an Olympic final.

Ed: I can definitely say that for Michael’s final, the noise that was building all the way through the race was like no other night. It was unbelievable. I could feel the vibration of the sound through the floor and in my chest. It will stay with me for a long time.

Michael: Everyone trains hard to be in with a chance of competing at a major Games and I felt like I had a responsibility to represent all the guys I’d trained with over the years. Ed was there on the night of my final and he was one of the first faces I saw after the race, which was pretty special.

Ed: After all the finals, we were having our team debrief downstairs. Michael had just come out of doping after receiving his medal and was walking down the corridor beside us. I got up and gave him a massive hug. I was in my volunteering uniform and he was in his GB kit clutching his silver medal. Our team of volunteers gave him a huge round of applause. It was a special night.

Michael: The volunteers at the London 2012 Olympic Games did a phenomenal job and they’ve been rightly praised for it. Everything from the dealing with queues in the dining hall, to making sure there were always buses available – the general attitude of every volunteer was amazing and everyone was upbeat and just seemed to be enjoying themselves. If anyone was thinking of volunteering at Glasgow 2014, I’d encourage them to apply. It’s a chance to be part of something special.

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