LONDON 2012 finished with a bang on Sunday night with an Olympic closing ceremony which, in some people’s eyes, equalled the stunning opening ceremony.
And among performers including the Spice Girls, Queen, One Direction and Annie Lennox was Potters Bar’s Clare Lavelle. She was one of the thousands of volunteers who helped to put together that quite incredible show.
Her role was as part of the Rio dancing cast and the Mount Grace Road resident told the Potters Bar Edition it was “one of the best experiences of her life” – even though they didn’t get to perform a final full dress rehearsal!
Recalling the occasion, she said: “After an exhausting 35 hours of rehearsals last week I arrived at the Olympic Park on Sunday expecting a full dress rehearsal in the main stadium.
“All of the girls were looking forward to getting in there for a run through as we hadn’t been able to recreate the environment properly during our rehearsals.
“Unfortunately this wasn’t to be as the stage crew ran three hours behind schedule and so the first time the 300-strong Rio cast got to enter the stadium was at 11.15pm – the actual show – in front of an estimated one billion viewers!”
She added: “The atmosphere in the dressing room was electric all day. My most nerve-racking moment was when we were waiting backstage for our cue. I could see thousands of people in their seats while Jessie J was whizzing around in the back of her car!”
After dancing as a youngster, the 27-year-old has only recently got back on the dancefloor, learning at the Paraiso School of Samba.
Having enjoyed her experience so much, she decided to apply for the closing ceremony.
“Having never done anything like this [the closing ceremony] before I didn’t have a clue how I would react, I was so scared I would make a mistake! Thankfully I didn’t and friends and family tell me they saw me on TV two or three times!
“I still haven’t watched it back as the next morning I was straight on a plane to Turkey with my very patient boyfriend Nick, who has been brilliant during a very preoccupied couple of months.
“I still can’t believe I was part of the London Olympics, during the process I made some great friends, and it is without doubt one of the best experiences of my life.
“I hope we did Brazil proud!”