Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital nurse lands dream role at Olympic and Paralympic Games
A nurse has landed his dream job after securing a place with the cycling team at this summer's Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Robert Smith, from Newton St Faith, just north of Norwich, is set to be the chief medical manager for the velodrome and BMX track at the Olympic Park for 10 weeks this summer.
Over the years, the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital nurse has worked at the Tour of Britain, Commonwealth Games, National Championships and World Championships.
The 59-year-old, who is a keen cyclist himself, said: 'I had applied to be a volunteer but when they saw my CV, they offered me a paid role.
'When they offered me the role at the velodrome, I thought I had died and gone to heaven.
'I've never done the Olympic Games before and I'm coming up to retirement so it was a good opportunity to get the full set.'
Mr Smith first started to work in a medical capacity at cycling events 18 years ago with the original Tour of Britain, the Milk Race.
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Over the years, the member of Norwich cycling club Velo Club Norwich has seen a number of accidents including broken collarbones, head injuries and track burns.
At the Olympic Games, he will be in charge of a 24-strong team of medical staff, including doctors, paramedics, nurses and anaesthetists, for the BMX events and a team of 17 for the velodrome.
He has already attended the BMX test event which was held at the Olympic Park last August and the recent UCI Track Cycling World Cup test event at the velodrome.
Mr Smith, who has worked at the N&N for 32 years and is taking 10 weeks of unpaid leave, will start his Olympic role from July 1.
The married father-of-two added: 'It's going to be very hard work - we were doing 15 hour days at the world cup - but it will be worth every minute.'
Do you have an Olympics story? Call reporter Kate Scotter on 01603 772326 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.