Chichester woman in ‘green and pleasant’ Olympic opening ceremony

Olympic opening ceremony green and pleasant lands
Olympic opening ceremony green and pleasant lands

Most people from Chichester were glued to the Olympic opening ceremony from the comfort of their own home, but Karen Wainwright from Westergate, Chichester, was lucky enough to be part of the mesmerising event.

Karen was part of the cast of the dazzling opening extravaganza directed by Oscar-winner Danny Boyle.

She said: “I was on stage during the opening scenes and I was one of the people who were choreographed to roll up the green turf that was the ‘green and pleasant land’ to make way for the chimneys of the industrial revolution.

“It was quite hard work in the 
rain in rehearsals. The BBC1 coverage was amazing, but the stadium felt electric, absolutely incredible, and the sound of the drumming was so atmospheric.

“One of the highlights was definitely meeting all the people that were involved, there was such a sense of community at the rehearsals and everyone was so enthusiastic.

“I felt really proud to be involved, and it was a bit of a novelty coming from down here in Chichester. Danny Boyle was fantastic, he listened to us like friends and was really open to our ideas about what was working well with the choreography.

“My family have been really supportive because I have been busily rehearsing since May so everyone has pulled together to help, but it was worth it.

“I’m still on a high. It was hard not to let the secret slip but we all managed because we wanted to surprise everyone.

“It was amazing just being able to walk through the park, and wave up at the box where the presenters sit.

“We also got to keep our costumes, which was fantastic.

“My husband didn’t recognise me with soot on my face and in Victorian clothes at Liverpool Street station. The whole ceremony was so well put together and it was such a fantastic experience being involved in something so exciting.”