Thursday, September 20, 2012
An Exmouth man has described his nine days as a Paralympic volunteer as ‘life-changing’.
Marcus Lang, 39, of Langstone Drive, worked as a Games Maker at the Olympic Park Aquatic Centre, helping spectators and looking after other volunteers.
While he was there he saw plenty of competition, including Ellie Simmonds’ gold medal and world record performances, and was left in awe of the competitors.
Marcus said: “The most amazing thing was seeing what the athletes could do – I saw one who had no arms at all doing the back stroke, and he won his race by smashing his head on the wall.
“The whole thing was life-changing and it seems to have changed the country, because the whole perception of disabled people hopefully has changed a lot, because what’s come through the Paralympics is focusing on what people can do rather than what they can’t. Some of the stories those athletes had to tell were quite remarkable.
“It made me feel proud going through London with my uniform on.”
Marcus was also fortunate enough to attend the opening and closing ceremonies in the Olympic Stadium, and saw the post-Games athletes’ parade through the centre of London.
Marcus said: “The ceremonies were off this planet – the closing ceremony especially, because it was bringing the whole thing to a close – and the athletes’ parade was superb.”