A Ripon man has returned from two weeks spent volunteering at the London Olympics with enough memories to last a lifetime.
Mathew Cobley met famous Olympians including Rebecca Adlington, Usain Bolt and Sebastian Coe during his time as a Games Maker volunteer.
Mr Cobley said: “It really was an incredible experience, a once-in-a-lifetime event. The atmosphere was great.
“I have an awful lot of happy memories – the Olympics really brought everyone together.”
Mr Cobley worked as a driver throughout the two-weeks of the games.
Based in the Olympic Village, he ferried athletes and members of the Olympic family to and from Games’ venues using the reserved Olympic lanes and finding his way around London thanks to the specially-designed Olympic satellite navigation system.
One of the most famous passengers in his car was swimmer Rebecca Adlington, who he drove to a top London hotel where she was having afternoon tea with friends.
And he narrowly missed having Usain Bolt in his car – but still managed to meet the legendary sprinter, along with a long list of other Olympic medal-winning athletes, including cyclists Laura Trott and Jason Kenny, and even Lord Coe.
Mr Cobley’s wife Anna and three young sons James, 8, Harry, 5, and Charlie, 3, joined him in London during the second week of his volunteering. He visited his children’s school, Belmont Grosvenor, where he is also chairman of the PTA to share his experiences with pupils.
The school already has a special Olympic connection in double Olympic Gold medal-winning rower Andy Triggs Hodge who is a former pupil and returned to his school after the Beijing Games.