THREE Swindon doctors gave up their day jobs for two weeks to be part of a 70,000 strong army of volunteers who have been dubbed the real stars of the Olympic Games.
Jill Dale, a consultant anaesthetist from Cirencester, Michael Natarajan, a consultant anaesthetist from Stratton and Clare Morden, an ICU clinical fellow from Somerset all gave up their time to help with the running of the Games.
The trio, who all work at the Great Western Hospital , signed up to volunteer at the London 2012 Games, but have returned to reality this week after an experience which made them all proud to be British.
They used their expertise in medicine to aid in the smooth running of events across the capital and ensure injuries were kept to a minimum.
Jill and Clare were both medical volunteers on the field of play for the equestrian and modern pentathlon in Greenwich Park and the BMX at the Olympic Park in Stratford.
Football fan Michael got his dream role as he headed to Wembley to help out with the running of the football and even helped a Uruguayan minister who suffered a heart attack at the match.
He said: “The main feeling I have from the experience is being proud to be a volunteer at such an amazing event and proud of being british.
“I got to see footballers sitting just opposite me, like the Brazilian team and Ryan Giggs.
“It was an honour for us to partake in the Olympic Games and something I will never forget.”
There were plenty of incidents to keep Clare and Jill busy with riders coming off their horses at the equestrian events and BMX stars crashing their bikes at high speed.
Jill said: “It was one of the best times of my life, you can’t describe it. There are so many highlights, it was a really emotional experience. I think it was the experience of a lifetime.”
Clare said: “I feel proud and very pleased to be a part of it. I was at medical school when it was announced we had the games and I said I wanted to be a doctor at the Olympics.”