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    Posted December 17, 2012 by
    mermayden
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    London, United Kingdom
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    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    What was your best moment of 2012?

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    Performing in the Opening Ceremony of the London Olympics is one of the highlights of my life

     

    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     iReporter Kate Alley from London, UK was one of the lucky thousands who were chosen to perform in the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games.

    “Performing in the opening ceremony of the Olympics is not just the most memorable moment of 2012, but among the most memorable moments of my life. It is rare to be able to participate in an event of this magnitude when you're an ordinary person. Beyoncé does things like this, Bono performs in front of crowds this large, not me. I still can't believe I was in it,” said the 43-year-old Public Health Consultant who dressed up as a nurse in the opening ceremony’s NHS segment.

    Kate took this photo just before the final dress rehearsal which was performed before a full audience.

    “I've never been so terrified in my life! But only until we entered the stadium, then I became excited and thrilled, she said. “The costumes were rather thick, and had several layers with net petticoats underneath, and it was incredibly hot that day so a lot of the nurses stripped off to the waist for the walk to the stadium. Otherwise the white collars might have been stained with make up from sweating!” she added.
    - stinabacker, CNN iReport producer

    “And we’re live to the planet in five minutes……….”

    I performed in the NHS tribute segment during the Opening Ceremony of the London Olympics. It was without doubt one of the most extraordinary experiences of my life. When it comes my time to die and my life is flashing before my eyes, I hope with all my heart that those twelve minutes are one of the things I get to see again.

    What an utterly glorious experience. Endless hours (150 of them in all) rehearsing in far flung London locations, sometimes in the pouring rain, were forgotten. We were, quite literally, at the centre of the biggest show on earth. There is nothing else like it on earth, we were reminded by one of the producers on the night of the ceremony: the only thing bigger than the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games is a war. Olympic Opening Ceremonies are part of history, tv documentaries are made about them, people remember watching them. It’s difficult to express the pride you feel about representing your city to the world in what we knew was going to be a jaw-dropping ceremony.

    I had expected to be terrified during the actual performance, for the segment itself to be a blur and to feel incredibly flat afterwards. Instead, the opposite happened. I couldn’t wait to get out there and savoured every moment of the show. The performance was actually the first time I looked around during the "nightmare" sequence and saw it in all its glory. The towering Voldemort puppet was directly in front of me, fireworks shooting out of his wand, as was the Queen of Hearts, I looked up at the screens at one point and noticed for the first time that Mike Oldfield was playing live. Likewise we had no idea that JK Rowling would be there. It is impossible to convey how extraordinary it was to be involved in such an epic production and to watch it unfold around us.

    Now that the ceremony is a few months behind me and the experience is fading into my past after inhabiting my present for so long I think my favourite memory is this: the nurses were on stage for the entire segment, racing from one frenetic sequence to the next, constantly dancing, pushing a bed, worrying about being run over by a bed, pretending to be a zombie, dancing with Mary Poppins, fighting Voldemort. There was only one moment where we got to stop and stand still. It was during the GOSH spellout - I was one of the first beds to enter so hit my mark before most of the other beds were even in the stadium. This meant there was plenty of time to just look around and take it all in. It was the only chance I got to breathe but what a breath it was!
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