After she first got involved with the Olympics in London four years ago, Yiewsley 's Eleanora Murphy was determined to relive the experience on the other side of the world.

The catheterization laboratory nurse put her heart and soul into saving for the once in a lifetime chance to go to Brazil and be an interpreter at one of the biggest spectacles in the sporting world.

Eleanora managed to breeze through the vetting process ands so was offered her dream job.

Below, the 43-year-old documents her unforgettable experience before she flew home on Thursday (August 18).

Being part of the 30th Olympic Games at London 2012 was incredibly special for so many of us as the 70,000 Games Makers, that after such an experience, I and many others decided to apply to volunteer for Rio 2016.

I was one of the lucky ones. After an online interview using software similar to Skype and several tests to prove that I was as good at other languages as I claimed to be (I have an honours degree in French and German and I also speak Spanish), I was offered my dream role, interpreting for the media at Deodoro stadium.

There was no way I was going to turn down such a unique opportunity, especially if it meant the chance to travel to somewhere new and use my languages. Given the distance between London and Rio de Janeiro, most of my training for the role was done on line beforehand.



Before I knew it, the time came to book my flight, and this is where the fun and games started.

The airline managed to take payment for my flight twice, and then took two months to refund me, TWICE, so two weeks before I was due to fly more than seven thousand miles south of London, I had no ticket.

Fortunately by then, my lovely manager for the Games, Pedro, had made contact with me, and helped me enormously to sort the problem out, resulting in a free upgrade to business class.

When I finally got to Sao Paolo, I was fast tracked through immigration and customs because of my link to the Games, and even though this was standard treatment for everyone in the Games, it didn't stop me from feeling like a minor celebrity, at least for a few minutes.


As I collected my bright yellow Games Maker uniform, I had many happy memories of doing the same at London. Although, when I wore it for the first time, I felt a bit like a jaundiced Oompah Loompah, especially as I have such pale skin in comparison with my Brazilian counterparts, who all look amazing in yellow.

I finally met my manager Pedro at the venue, who was very warm, and who went out of his way to put me at ease, taking great lengths to show me all around the areas where I would be working and explain what would be expected of me.

With every shift after that, I was greeted with a huge smile and a hug, exactly what I needed to start the day in a good mood.

Eleanora with her manager Pedro


Before my first shift, I had the chance to go and see the dress rehearsal of the opening ceremony at Maracaná stadium. As I missed out on this opportunity at London, I was very excited to be able to watch the live show, and wasn't fussed that it was a rehearsal.

I stayed in and saw the actual ceremony on the television though, and found that some of the effects worked much better on the television screen than on the stage. Of course, we were regularly asked to 'keep the surprise', so even though I and probably most other spectators took lots of photographs, I managed to resist the urge to post the photos until after the actual ceremony had been broadcast.

Work finally started and given my complete non sense of direction, I arrived very early for my first shift rather than take the risk of letting people down and being late.



Deodoro stadium is based on an army barracks, so security is pretty tight, and even more so for the Games, just as we had visibly heightened security at London 2012, but of course the typical woman in me can't resist admiring a man in uniform.

The soldiers all look incredibly smart, and one thing I found really impressive was that they are all required to display their blood group on their uniform. This makes such perfect sense to me, as it is one of the most important important things to know in case of a medical emergency.



My first big job was to interpret an interview from Spanish to English with the captain of the Ecuadorian women's rugby sevens team for OBC (Olympic Broadcasting Company) They had just been beaten 55-0 by the Australians, and in spite of this, it was a great match to watch.

She was very gracious in defeat, although part of me wished that she could have spoken a little bit more slowly, so I could get absolutely all the salient points of the interview. Given that I have hardly spoken Spanish in almost 20 years though, I was still pretty pleased with myself, and how I performed.

During a shift, I became unwell, and my lovely manager came to the rescue. He took me to get looked after, insisting I should just relax and stay calm, because "I'm the translator now" as he said.

Fortunately it was nothing more serious than 'the poor little white girl not coping so well with our tropical heat' which brought the smile back to my face, at a moment when I was close to tears.

It's almost impossible to believe that it's winter here in Rio, as it's often 30 degrees or warmer. It was just another of the many times I experienced the Brazilian warmth and kindness.

View from the stands in the Team GB silver medal rugby match



I have had the privilege of meeting some famous Brits too. John Inverdale, Sir Matthew Pinsent and Sir Clive Woodward were all charming and very generous with their time, chatting about the Games and life back home in the UK as if I and they had known eachother for years.

I came to Brazil about 10 days ago with maybe half a dozen words of Portuguese. Already I can hold an entire short conversation in the language. Even with three other languages under my belt, I have surprised myself with the speed at which I am learning.

I have been made to feel 'amazing wonderful and fabulous' as one person described me when introducing me to a new colleague. I have met countless people, made many new friends and absolutely had the time of my life.

I can honestly say that the decision to work my socks off to afford this trip to Rio and have this incredible and surreal experience is the best thing I have ever done, and I will never forget it.