Norwich woman’s pride at taking part in opening ceremony at London 2012 Olympics

A Norwich woman has spoken of her pride at being part of the spectacular opening ceremony of the Olympic Games directed by Danny Boyle.

Donna Africa, whose real name is Donna Thompson, is a model, actress, dancer and poet from Sprowston Road, Norwich, was a mechanical audience leader at Friday's opening ceremony.

Ms Africa, who will also be on duty at the closing ceremony, was responsible for 500 audience members, giving cheer, spirit, morale, meeting and greeting them, handing out their programme and 3D glasses.

She also had to instruct the audience by using torches to point where the Zorbs where and to watch out for the Zorbs (that had a camera inside) which bounced in the audience, getting the audience to deploy the silks over their heads to depict the sea, instructing them the dance moves.

She said: 'My dance moves included Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, Rocking the Thames, The Union Jack. Then performing the Bubble Gun dance with my Bubble Guns to the song 'I am forever blowing Bubbles'.

'It was quite a responsible role and I thoroughly enjoyed it and thank my fellow mechanicals and silk partners and especially my audience members for their great spirited participation.'

Ms Thompson, who first auditioned more than a year ago, said she wanted to thank creative director Danny Boyle for the 'honour and privilege to be a part of the greatest show on the planet'

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She added: 'I felt very proud and honoured to be a part of the London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony and extremely proud to be British.

'What an experience, a once in a life time opportunity and just so proud to be apart of the London 2012 Olympic Games and salute all those who gave up their time to make this Olympic Dream a reality.'

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