A DRUMMER from Priestwood says he’s proud to be British after completing an Olympic double.
Bright spark Graham Orriss took part in the London 2012 Games twice over: he drummed at the opening ceremony and marshalled at the closing ceremony, wearing a blue suit with a lightbulb-topped bowler hat.
“I can’t believe I took part in both – it’s utterly surreal,” the 67-year-old said.
The drummer, who plays at services at Priestwood’s Mosaic Church, only got involved in after an announcement was given during a service.
“[Organisers] were short of drummers,” he explained. “They had to be able to move and drum at the same time.”
Graham was fortunate to be selected, saying that around 3,000 people audtioned, but just 1,000 were accepted.
“A lot of professional drummers didn’t get in,” he said.
Signed up to the Opening Ceremony, called Isles of Wonder, Graham was given a low-tech drum to play.
“It’s actually a plastic bucket turned upside down, with straps on,” he chuckled.
The opening ceremony, lauded the world over, offered a whistlestop tour of British history. The stadium was transformed into scenes telling the country’s story, including a large hill onto which flags were planted after the parade of athletes.
“I ended up on the hill – the Tor,” he said. “Then I had a 20-minute change, went underneath the stadium, got changed and was a marshal for the athletes.”
At the closing ceremony he was within touching distance of the biggest names in music including The Spice Girls.
“I didn’t get to met any, but they came close by,” he said. “I was there to control the athletes mainly. They were very well behaved – they all wanted to take pictures of us, of course!”
Graham really enjoyed the experience and will cherish his memories of the day.
“It’s been a wonderful experience and I’m proud to have done it.”