By: Daniel Andrade
Volunteering for such a huge global event is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. From working with a multitude of photographers from a variety of backgrounds, to Bolt and Mo's emotional farewells, to the euphoria generated by the four Great Britain relay teams, which filled the stadium after their medal winning performances in the final few days, working at the IAAF World Championships at the Olympic Stadium was an amazing experience.
When I first heard that I had the chance to volunteer, through University of Chichester, where I am studying and a company called Pearce International, I jumped at the opportunity. I wanted an insight into the sports media world behind the scenes and to see how such an event is run, something which many people don't realise is just how complex an operation.
I wanted to be in an area which I could learn more about, and being in the photography team enabled me to do just that. I had the job of organising, and being one of the voices of the photographers. This turned out easier than I had anticipated. I went in with the preconception that photographers were going to be bossy, and difficult to control. There were some scenarios where this proved to be the case with disagreements occurring, but not as many as I was expecting. Most were just focused on doing their job, getting that ‘perfect shot’ and that's what they mostly managed to achieve.
I met some interesting and inspirational individuals who have made it to the top of their field, within sports photography. I learnt how they manage to share their images so quickly with the wider world, how they know exactly when to take the photos to catch Bolt coming over the line in his last ever 100m race.
I witnessed some amazing events. My first day ended, after a comical streaker had amused the crowd, with the great Jamaicans last ever individual event. The atmosphere leading up to the race was a mixture of eager anticipation and tense excitement within the stadium, with everybody keen to see the ‘main man’ in action, including us, the volunteers. When he entered the stadium, the noise was surreal, a cacophony of sound far louder than I had anticipated. Then the race came and to say it was not the result everybody had wanted is an understatement. But Bolt being Bolt, the great sportsman he is, went straight over to the much-maligned winner, Gatlan, and humbly congratulated him.
Before this event I wasn't the biggest fan of field athletics events, such as Javelin, Hammer throw and Discus throw but now I have seen top level athletes perform, I hold it in much higher regard and found it very entertaining. Watching it with the photographers I was fascinated to see how they managed to predict when the javelin would be released and obtain the instant shot of the athlete, it really was impressive.
There were a huge amount of volunteers and as one of those many I can’t emphasis enough, the pleasure of being part of such an event, to see the overjoyed faces of both the athletes and the spectators.
Seeing the great athletes, Bolt and Farah, run was something I had wanted to do for some time, and to be able to say 'I was there' for their last ever races on the track is a privilege I will always remember, along with the incredible atmosphere within the stadium, in some part due to the antics of Hero the mascot.