Charlotte Thompson is Director of Strategic Planning and Research at the British Olympic Association

I’ve had the pleasure of being involved in London 2012, Rio 2016 and PyeongChang 2018 Games, and hopefully Tokyo soon.

Charlotte Thompson's sharing of memories forms part of our 'Replay Sporting Memories' project – and we thank Charlotte and everyone who has contributed.

Without a doubt the memory that still brings so much joy to me was experiencing the Opening Ceremony of the London Olympic Games as a volunteer through work. I think back to that night and remember so boldly the all-consuming smells, sights and sounds of the industrial age – quite literally the most amazing scene I’ve ever witnessed.

London 2012 opening ceremony fireworks

The sounds of the bells and smell of the Olympic rings on fire at the end still make the hairs on my arms stand up. It was not only a moment that made you proud to be British and have an incredible heritage but also symbolised the start of a truly unique Games that was in my home city and that I’d spent 18 months working hard on.

I then had the unexpected pleasure of bumping into Danny Boyle on my way home out of the stadium late at night. As he signed my Guide he thanked me for being a volunteer! I know that these memories will never leave me.

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