May 21 2013 Latest news:
by Nadia Sam-Daliri
Wednesday, August 1, 2012
Schoolchildren and college students from the borough were involved from the start of the £27million extravaganza to the spine-tingling finale, as they took on roles including the balloon release, dance sequences and the athletes’ parade.
Among the group was Marisa Robinson, a 13-year-old All Saints student, who had the honour of walking out with Jamaican sprinting ace Usain Bolt during the parade.
Several All Saints students –who were among 204 pupils from host borough schools chosen to carry the copper petals through the stadium – had the chance to meet the Jamaican world record holder.
Marisa, from Rainham, said: “Usain Bolt didn’t say anything but he smiled at me.
“The parade was kind of scary at first but once I was walking about I didn’t notice it as much.”
Oscar Zebala, 13, said: “While I was walking by I said hi to him. It was a bonus seeing him.”
Parents later told the Post of the pride they felt at seeing their loved ones perform in front of a global audience of more than one billion.
John Darroux, whose daughter Klesha, 13, was also a petal holder, said: “It was all a surprise. We’re all just so proud she was able to be a part of it.”
Pupils from Hunters Hall Primary, Grafton Junior and Warren Junior took part in the balloon release that kicked off Friday’s show and performing arts students from Barking and Dagenham College were among the hundreds who danced in the varied music sequences.
Meanwhile, older residents also played a part in the Slumdog Millionaire director’s acclaimed ceremony, which documented the birth of London’s industrial might, before travelling through time to the creation of the internet.
Daryl Kane, 47, of Bentry Road, Dagenham, and Lin Russell, 56, of Movers Lane, Barking, took part in the industrial revolution sequence.
Danny Boyle was at every rehearsal in the lead-up, including ones at the former Ford site in Dagenham where a huge circus top was erected for rehearsals, Daryl said.
He added: “Nothing was too difficult for him. He made inspirational speeches about performing and how to be in the moment.
“It is one of the best things I’ve ever done.”