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Olympic volunteers bask in Wycombe's celebration
3:00pm Sunday 30th September 2012 in Sport
DOZENS of volunteers who helped run the Olympics were special guests at Wycombe's homecoming parade and said the crowds made it feel like a repeat of the London games.
Gamesmakers, who helped at the various sporting venues, acting as wardens and stewards, torchbearers, and ceremony participants all attended the big bash in Marlow and High Wycombe yesterday.
A large group of them formed a guard of honour for the Olympians as they came through Higginson Park, Marlow, dressed in their official London 2012 gear.
Hazlemere resident Catherine Aitken, 33, and Jenny Renouf, 54, from Marlow were the two lucky gamesmakers who were chosen for the open top bus parade.
Catherine, who works for a analytical and life science firm, said: “The turnout has been fantastic and coming through Marlow seeing all the thousands of people has been amazing. It's been an awesome experience and I will never be able to match it.”
Jenny, who helped at Dorney Lake, said: “It was amazing, such an exciting experience to be part of the Olympics and to have been given that opportunity. It's never going to be repeated in my lifetime and I'm proud to be here part of this parade now too. I was delighted when I got the call saying I was on the bus.”
Florence Rowe, 82, was a torchbearer and even went to Downing Street to meet the Prime Minister as part of her duties.
Florence, from Hughenden Valley, High Wycombe, was chosen in part because of her link to the last London Olympics in the 1940s.
She was due to go to the Wycombe Wanderers yesterday, but was glad to be invited to the Olympic parade instead.
“I've really enjoyed today, really fantastic,” she said.
“With the crowds it was like the Olympics all over again, it's still in people's minds.”
David Cameron chose her and she was pictured with his daughter who shares her name.
She said: “I just feel proud, I really do, I'm just a normal person.”
The grandmother-of-nine lost her husband a few years ago and she said: “He would've been so proud.”
Lois Crane, from Hughenden Valley, High Wycombe, pictured above, was involved in both the opening and closing ceremonies as an audience leader.
She wore her ceremony outfit, including an orange bowler hat, to the civic event.
She said: “The ceremonies were absolutely brilliant, it was so exciting. In terms of today, I thought it was so lovely and it was nice for all the athletes to see so many people to come out and celebrate them.”