Author: Sally R Alford, 18th October 2022

My husband and I were both excited to know that the Olympics and Paralympics were coming to London in 2012 and wanted to do ‘our bit’ thus immediately applied to be Games Makers. After completing online forms and with emails back and forth he was given the role of a driver, ferrying officials, commentators etc. to different venues and  I was going to work with the Broadcasting Team. Soon after this, I received an email to invite me to audition to take part in one of the Ceremonies. After 2 auditions I was given a part in the Paralympic Opening Ceremony, I was thrilled at not only being involved in such a momentous event but also as a Patron of an Inclusive theatre company, The Theatre Shed, felt that I would be representing the Company members too!

My fellow performers and I had 30 rehearsals in our dancing groups, mostly at the 3 Mills Film Studios, in East London and then when we got nearer to the event, we went to the old Ford Works in Dagenham. The huge car parks were marked out as the Queen Elizabeth Stadium and every performance group was there. We ate our lunches and had our breaks in a huge big top, leant from a circus, that could accommodate all the cast. The most exciting time was the week leading up to the performance as we began rehearsing at the Stadium itself, in the Olympic Park and we received our costumes, I had two pieces to mine a dress and a jacket, as I was honoured to be asked to perform in two parts of the ceremony.


The evening of the performance was magical; it was such a privilege to meet some of the 2012 Paralympic Team, to meet Sir Ian McKellen, to see Sir Stephen Hawking etc.

But my proudest moment was dancing to Spasticus Autisticus with the Blockheads singing and playing live, right in front of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in the Royal Box with the magnificent Alison Lapper sculpture rising behind me, it is something that  I shall never forget.