Anyone who saw the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 London Olympic Games can’t but have wondered about the effort, time and planning that went into preparing Danny Boyle’s masterpiece.
It is but one part of the organisational behemoth that is the Olympic Games however and one Castlebar man is right in the middle of it.
Dave Courell (28) from Pontoon Drive, Castlebar is a Venue Operations Manager for the Olympic Stadium for the Olympic Games. He supports and deputises for the Venue General Manager and Courell has an extremely hands-on role in ensuring a range of functions in the splendidly designed new stadium go according to plan.
The former Breaffy NS and St Gerald’s College student is on a three and a half year secondment from Deloitte in London who he works for as a Management Consultant. The last week has seen him help Sir Paul McCartney get familiar with the stadium, deal with a problem of Nicole Kidman’s seating arrangement along with a myriad of other tasks all designed to make sure things ran smoothly at the Opening Ceremony.
“Deloitte are one of the Games’ sponsors and the opportunity came up through them. It’s been amazing and I’ve been very fortunate. Who is to say I will not stay in this area of work. Deloitte are keen to develop a presence in major events and they have already started work on the 2022 World Cup in Qatar,” Mr Courell told The Mayo News yesterday.
As he spoke the Olympic Stadium was a building site once more as the transition from the Opening Ceremony to the start of the use of the stadium for track and field this coming Friday continued.
It is slightly quieter at the minute for Courell and his cohorts. Plenty of planning is ongoing for event days but it is then that Venue Management have to be on their toes. Courell deals especially with front of house issues.
It could be anything from problems with ticketing, keeping an eye that large queues aren’t building up at concessions, security in controlling access, making sure broadcast and print media are catered for, keeping an eye on issues with cleaning, catering and, last Friday, making sure everything went smoothly as over 100 heads of states entered the stadium.
“When it comes to event days if everything is running fine you get an opportunity to watch some of the sport. But inevitably in an 80,000 seater venue you will have some issue and I’m always running around, sprinting left, right and centre” he said.
His parents Eamonn and Kathleen (both well-known retired hoteliers) together with his brother Paul and sister Sineád will be visiting him in the Stadium before the Games are out. He said most people he knows that have been looking for tickets have got them through the conventional route but is surprised at how few people he knows are going to the Olympics relative to the amount of Irish people who went to Poland for Euro 2012.
Courell started out his working life in his mid-teens washing pots and pans and scrubbing chewing gum off carpets in Breaffy House Hotel, where his father was Managing Director. He’s now playing a central role in organising the biggest sports event in the world.
“It is an amazing opportunity. I absolutely love it” he said.