Croydon pensioner enjoys role in both opening and closing ceremonies
A pensioner with no music or dance experience had an Olympics to remember when she performed in the opening and closing ceremonies.
Sally Maxwell, 66, of Alpine Close, East Croydon, was part of a troupe of 1,000 drummers during Danny Boyle’s spectacular opening ceremony and returned to the Olympic Park on Sunday as an athletes’ marshal, decked out in British blue complete with a flashing bowler hat.
She said: “I don’t know quite what the uniform was supposed to signify, but we had fun on the way home. Our main job was just to make sure the athletes were safe.
“There were a lot of vehicles going around the outside of the track as part of the ceremony so we had to keep them back. I was quite near the centre so we could see bits of what was going on, which was pretty amazing.”
A night of partying afterwards saw the former Croydon College accountancy lecturer not get home until 4.30am.
She said: “They were trying to move us on afterwards, but we were having too much fun.”
The teacher, who is originally from Glasgow, had no musical experience when she applied to be one of 10,000 performers in the ceremonies.
Auditioning in November, she was picked out for her natural rhythm.
She said: “There were all these young athletic people and I thought, there’s no way they’ll pick me. I couldn’t believe when I was called back.
“I’m not sure if I’ll keep it up – there is talk of us being invited to play at some of the festivals or at the Notting Hill Carnival but we’ll have to wait and see. It will certainly be strange getting back to normal life after all of this.”