Motherwell man Darren Young is working as an assistant to the Australian Olympic team at the London 2012 Olympics
A MOTHERWELL man is set to be at the heart of some of the Olympics most breathtaking moments after earning himself a prestigious role at the London 2012 games.
Darren Young stood shoulder-to-shoulder with the planet’s finest athletes as he chaperoned the Australian Olympic delegation to the Olympic Stadium as part of Friday night’s glittering opening ceremony.
And that certainly won’t be the only limelight the 21-year-old will enjoy over the next fortnight!
The former Clyde Valley High pupil will be in the company of some of the biggest names in world sport on a daily basis – working as one of 12 hands-on assistants to the Aussie Olympic squad.
Darren explained: “My role is an National Olympic Committee assistant, whereby I assist in any way with what my delegated Olympians might need during the Games.
“I’ve been assigned to the Australian team. In total they have over 700 people, so they have a lot of tasks to keep us going!”
Despite the hard work involved, Darren’s enthusiasm for the Games and a wealth of experience in voluntary work has ensured the next few weeks will be a true labour of love.
“I’ve undertaken plenty of volunteering before in various different areas,” he said.
“I was lucky enough to get selected for the Delhi handover ceremony back in 2010 and I think I managed to catch the bug after that!
“I’ve been with the Australians since July 10 and have had a great few weeks so far.
“I was very fortunate to be able to attend the Team GB welcome ceremony which was absolutely packed with fans who just went wild for the team. All the press and media attention as well just made it even more phenomenal.”
When Darren first arrived he was tasked with ensuring everything was ready for the Oz athletes arrival.
Since then he has taken part in the opening ceremony’s dress rehearsal last Wednesday, and was on hand to ensure the smooth running of the big one on Friday night.
With the Games now officially underway, Darren is ready to be run off his feet almost 24/7.
He said: “There is a lot of running about involved. I’ve got a pedometer on my phone and I’m averaging at least 12 miles per day, which just shows how active the role is!
“Some days I can be driving to different venues with athletes and officials or just dropping things off. Other times I could be spent all day in the village, helping out with anything that needs done from building bikes to checking athletes in. The tasks vary so much but I love the fact no two days are ever the same.
“One of the best parts of this role is that you get so close to the athletes, so much so that you can talk face-to-face. You see a lot of famous athletes in and around the village.
“I was very lucky enough to meet one of my heroes; Australian diver Matthew Mitcham who took Gold in Beijing. Matthew was one of the few gay athletes who were open about their sexuality at the Games and it took him a while to get any form of professional sponsorship.
“He is just one of so many inspirational athletes here. I don’t actually know who every member of the Aussie team is, but when I’m helping them out they speak away and introduce themselves.
“Its not until I get back to the office and check his or her name online that I then go ‘wow’ at their achievements. They truly are amazing competitors.”