Ok, let me start off by just clearing up some confusion that I know will most definitely come up later in this blog. I am not a professional athlete! Unless you call doing school athletics every summer for about two weeks athletics training, then, yeah I guess I could be aiming for Glasgow 2014.
At first I was chosen to simply be a part of a small group of students from my school to help the Glasgow 2018 YOG Bid team in different types of workshops. Whether I was chosen to do this because of my involvement and interest in after school clubs (I go to one) or I just chose the perfect time to walk by my teacher in the school cafeteria, I don’t know.
Our first workshop was kind of like an introduction. We were asked questions and discussed Glasgow, its people, fantastic culture and how it would be a great place to host the Youth Olympics. Our further involvement came when we were asked to help design the front cover of the bid book (much to our delight). We were given three samples which varied from being too plain, to being too busy. Like a gymnast somersaulting into a swimming pool whilst a skateboarder jumps over her, kind of busy. Slight exaggeration there but you get the idea. Through these samples we were able to pick out the good bits and designed a fantastic bid book cover. Which also I may add, gave us the opportunity to do a photo shoot. And let me just say, it helped me discover that I was made for the camera. Jokes, I’m just lucky I didn’t crack the camera to be honest. To my surprise and probably everyone else’s I actually made it on the front cover.
I was also chosen to be the school champion for Glasgow Commonwealth Games 2014. I’m pretty sure that I was promoted to this role due to me being the only one turning up at all the meetings, not much of a choice is it? However because of my love and enthusiasm I did it.
Then came the big time, well for me anyway. Our school was asked to host an event for Lord Coe, Councillor Gordon Matheson, leader of Glasgow City Council and Shona Robison, Minister for Commonwealth Games and Sport. Triple awesome. Meeting these influential people could be an opportunity of a life time.
Ok, now imagine me feeling like a boss because my teacher got a call and I was excused from class. Let’s just say I walked out that classroom with so much swag, it would have put Tyra Banks to shame.
I was actually called out of class to be told that as school champion of 2014, I would be taking part in the school’s twinning project and presenting a few short lines to Lord Coe, Shona Robison and Cllr Matheson. A few lines I was OK with, but then those few lines changed into a self-written speech. That was not alright but I was not going to say no even if I wanted to. I would be insane to give up on such an opportunity and one thing I’m sure of, I am not insane. On second thought, I’m a little bit on the crazy side.
The practises went great. My lines were on cue and memorised, my positioning was perfect and my speech was well… well at least it was something. I was so prepared but on the actual day, to say I was scared would be a massive understatement. I was scared out of my nut. I went from having no idea where to go, to nearly losing my speech, to forgetting how to properly tie my school tie. I almost gave my teachers a heart attack for the latter and that was before my performance.
I spoke a million miles per minute and I was shaking so badly, that if the audience themselves weren’t rooted firmly on the ground they would have thought that it was an earthquake. Then there was the actual meeting of the guests, I was very nervous at first but with some encouragement from my friends and teachers, I did. I’m pretty sure if I didn’t, I wouldn’t be doing this right now and I wouldn’t have been able to represent my city and be on the panel for Glasgow’s Youth Olympic bid. It was the best decision I could have made, beyond words. It was jaw-dropping-tastic, awesome-tascious. It was amazing. It was elephantine – yes it is a word. It was zing-tine.
I was elated having the opportunity to take pictures with Lord Coe. He even gave me tips on my position when on the starting blocks. This took me a while to get, by the way. I would probably never use this knowledge but it’s good to know this stuff in case Glasgow needs a fill in, you may never know.
The evaluation for the Glasgow 2018 bid was another very important meeting. I was already nervous and adding to this little problem, was me talking to cameras. Even talking during phone calls does not go well, especially Skype calls. I’m the type of girl that will stoop to the level of talking about the weather, yes I’m that bad. Yet the evaluation was a video conference to the IOC. Yup, it was a recipe for disaster. However the evaluation, I am happy to inform you, went splendidly well and my performance went by without me making a fool of myself… I think! I hope!
I don’t know how and I don’t know why but somehow, and trust me when I say I’m as lost as you are, I have been given the most amazing opportunity to go to Lausanne for the host city announcement in July. Seven years of French had finally paid off, it’s just a shame I still hardly know anything in French. It’s a great opportunity to at least learn a bit more and this will be an amazing experience for me, one that I intend to live to the fullest. I was chosen out of millions for a reason I don’t know and I’m not going to question, neither am I going to waste. What I will say however, is that I am going to try my absolute best and hardest to make Glasgow proud.
Helping in Glasgow’s bid to be the host city has shown me that the Youth Olympic Games isn’t just for the athletes (I am a perfect example of this) but for every young person around the world. The bid aims to inspire young people to make a difference in their own lives, to feel empowered and believe in themselves that they can help make a difference in the world.
Glasgow is the perfect place to promote this message because we have the three Ps. People, Passion and Places.
Glasgow is probably one of the most welcoming cities and the people here are great, we have the drive and will to produce an incredible Youth Olympics. With most of the venues that are needed being set up for the Commonwealth Games next year, not forgetting to mention our amazing attractions and scenery, we are all set!
I hope I am able to update you before my trip, but if not, wish your girl some luck!
I’ll need it.