AS THE curtain came down on the Beijing Olympics this week there were few people who could claim to have rubbed shoulders with the stars of the Games.
But Harrow man Denis Remedios not only dined with many of Team GB's medallists, he played a major part in their success.
The radiologist at Northwick Park Hospital was responsible for treating as many as 150 of the athletes in the run-up to the Olympics, which proved to be Britain's most successful games in a century.
Earlier this year Dr Remedios received a phone call asking him to travel with the team to the squad's preparation camp in Macau, a call he describes as one of the most exciting of his life.
He said: "I was honoured to be asked to go out there with the team and to be in the presence of so many top professionals, both athletes and behind-the-scenes staff.
"I enjoyed every minute of it out there and would give my right arm to be part of something so exciting again.
"It is rare to get that kind of opportunity and I was, of course, star-struck by every single one of them."
Once out there he was part of a team of three charged with treating some of Britain's biggest medal hopes.
In the camp were all the track and field stars, hockey teams, boxers, badminton players, archers, shooters and tae kwon do fighters.
Dr Remedios said: "Everything was so upbeat. The team spirit was fantastic, just being around them made me feel a real part of the national effort.
"Everybody ate together and mixed with each other and I think that kind of togetherness has spurred many of the athletes on in this year's games.
"I had triple jumper Phillips Idowu telling me how he was going to dye his hair gold for the final on one side and Harrow AC star Andy Baddeley on the other. Quite surreal."
But it wasn't all fun and games for the 46-year-old father-of-two, who told the Observer about one day in which the small Chinese province was hit by unusual weather conditions.
He said: "We went out to Macau because the weather conditions are very similar to Beijing and because it's also in the same time zone, but on one of the days there was a typhoon and it looked like it was going to cause massive disruptions to the team's training.
"But these guys are so determined and they can't just take a day off so all of a sudden different parts of this incredible five-star hotel were transformed into a gymnasium.
"We had the tae kwon do boys fighting in a boardroom and boxers sparring in the conference centre.
"There were runners braving the stormy conditions in the foothills of Macau, it was extraordinary."
Despite their rigorous training programmes however, most were able to stay injury free.
He added: "Most of the athletes made it up to Beijing. There was a worry about one or two but I think that has all come out in the wash. Some did carry injuries into the Games but it is fair to say that every single athlete out there gave 100 per cent.
"It was great to have been a part of ensuring these elite athletes were able to compete in something they had trained so hard for. I'll never forget the whole experience, it was incredible. It's great to be back though, working in a great atmosphere with fantastic facilities at Northwick Park, which is held in such high esteem by all the athletes."