Sunday was the last working day. It was supposed to be less stress and more fun. We had a party in the office – the whole Media and Communication team. It was a pleasure that almost all colleagues from the “uploaders” sub-team except the Hong Kong guys managed to come. I was glad to meet again those wonderful and so diverse personalities – Susan M. (the scientist), Susan G. (the big smile), Helene (the stubborn committed kiwi), Sarah (the charity lady), Laura (the humanitarian supporting Rwanda, Cambodia, Kongo and all suffering countries around the world), Jim (the Belfast guy). I feel I know better some of these guys than some colleagues from my team. It was a great experience to see the commitment of these people, their proud to be part of this GB success, their willingness to share the moments. Nobody of them was in IT field and I was really concerned at the beginning how we are going to manage it. I learned that it is really a matter of “process definition”, explanation, on-the-job training and high commitment – then there are no obstacles to deliver the expected results.
During the party we had a speech from the IPC Media & Communication Director – Craig Spence. He started with recap of the scaring expectations in front of the team – to cover different media channels and promote the games as much as possible. The targets were met almost in the first days – huge interests from journalists, hundred thousand subscribers in the social media, 3 million views of Youtube uploads, huge interest in the paralympic.org site and the online broadcasting delivered by ATOS. So the mission of the Media and Communication team was fully completed – the Paralympic Games were covered professionally by all channels and millions of people understood about them. I will remember the story told during the Closing ceremony about the boy reading a Peter Pan book and watching a picture of man without leg and arm (Captain Cook). His mother asked him who is this one and the small boy replied: “This is an athlete” 🙂 The logo of the games was “Inspiring a generation”, so this target was definitely fulfilled.
Then the time for the Closing ceremony came. I have very mixed feelings about it – knew that it would be very spectacular and sensational. It was definitely like this. But it was in some way brutal – too much flame and metal. I felt like in a Mad Max movie, like at the end of the world. Maybe I was a little bit sad that it was the end of two weeks that changed my life and I was sure something like that would never happen again. Maybe I was not able to catch the metaphor, maybe I was too tired. Will watch it once again in youtube with the commentating of Nick and will think over it once again. Coldplay & Rihana were the main stars in the closing ceremony. I heard about Coldplay one day before (thanks to Laura) but obviously Coldplay are for Great Britain something like U2 for the rest of the world:) My colleagues were really excited about them. The closing speeches were inspiring, the Rio dances just show that we ill see something totally different in 4 years.
After the end of the ceremony, I had the last hugs with Clara & Ingo – the team coordinators who were managing the connections between all sub-teams. Some tears in my eyes, some missing words and gratefulness overwhelmed me….