THE Olympics Opening Ceremony has been dubbed the Greatest Show on Earth by people all around the world.
For St Ives resident Katie Hammond it will also be the greatest memory, as the 25-year-old dancer was one of 10,000 to take part in the extravaganza, directed by film Oscar-winner Danny Boyle.
She said: “It was amazing… Out of this world… Unreal!”
Katie, who joined a nationwide tour of musical Disco Inferno yesterday (Tuesday), featured in the opening ceremony’s vibrant tribute to British music and film. Her eye-catching costume of mirrored-discs lit up as her fellow dancers formed a giant peace symbol in a dance homage to the Swinging Sixties.
Katie, who lives with her family in Great How, endured two auditions in December before finding out in January that she’d won a part.
In the three weeks leading up to the big show, the dancers and volunteers rehearsed in the Olympic Stadium, overseen by Slumdog Millionaire director Boyle.
Katie said: “Danny was at all our rehearsals. He was so down to earth and lovely. He talked to us and asked us if we were enjoying ourselves. He said it was going to be very exciting.”
There were three full dress rehearsals, and Katie’s parents were given tickets to watch the final preparations for the once-in-a-lifetime event, which was broadcast to a television audience of more than one billion on Friday night.
Katie said: “There were so many people - everybody was having a great time. It was so exciting and you could just feel the anticipation building.”
The holding area for performers was a 30-minute walk from the stadium but that didn’t do anything to affect the mood – or energy – of the performers.
“It was electric! We could hear the noise in the stadium, it was deafening.”
She continued: “This is never going to happen again. I had so many friends on Facebook saying ‘We’re looking out for you, you’re doing us proud’. My parents had an Olympics party at home with all our friends.
“Afterwards, outside the stadium, I just cried. I couldn’t believe I had just done that – in front of the Royal family!”
Katie watched the ceremony on Saturday morning – the first time she had seen it in its entirety.
“It was great to see how it all looked,” she said. “I liked the industrial revolution section and the cauldron.
“It was brilliant. It’s created such a positive vibe for the country – even on the Tube everybody is so positive!”
Katie’s is an Olympic family – her dad is a Games Maker and will be volunteering at events throughout the Games, while her younger sister Laura is a member of the Stratford stadium’s technical team.