Ely man revels in Olympic opening ceremony role- and he's sworn to secrecy over role in closing ceremony
PUBLISHED: 18:23 02 August 2012 | UPDATED: 18:49 02 August 2012
ELY musician Simon Fisher said being part of the opening ceremony at the London Olympics was an "unbelievable" experience.
Percussionist Simon, 39, played the role of an industrialist in the gripping three-hour ceremony that saw the greens fields of Britain transformed by the advances of the industrial revolution.
Simon also acted as one of the hundreds of drummers who lined the Olympic Stadium as thousands of athletes from 200 countries around the world paraded into the venue.
No sooner had he come down from the high of weeks of training and preparation however, Simon was back in the stadium rehearsing for the closing ceremony, the details of which remain a closely guarded secret.
He said: “It was all so much more than I expected, the atmosphere inside the stadium on Friday night was unbelievable.
“When Team GB came out at the end it brought the biggest roar of the night, it was such a crescendo of noise and was great to be a part of it all.”
Sporting icons including tennis player Novak Djokovic and sprinter Usain Bolt passed within inches of Simon but he was unable to react as he continued to play his drums.
Simon, who plays music with the Salvation Army in Cambridge, applied to take part in the ceremony after seeing an appeal posted on Facebook.
After auditioning in January, he was originally put on a reserve list but got the call in June to step in and take part in the ceremony, much to his delight.
“My family held a party on the night at home in Essex and, although there were no close up shots of me, I did manage to make it into the TV coverage.”
And as for keeping the secret of the ceremony?
“A lot of people were asking a lot of questions,” said Simon, “but to be honest there was a lot they kept from the performers so it wasn’t too hard!”