ARBROATH had it’s own man with the inside track on the Olympics last week.
Andy Law (61) played his part in London 2012 as an athletics official, and was trackside for some of the most memorable moments.
Asked if he had rubbed shoulders with any sporting heroes he answered: “Bolt for one. I was at his changeover in the 4 x 100m relay when he broke the Olympic record.
“The amazing thing about him was that out of the eight athletes, seven of them were completely focused on the race, while he was chatting to the crowd. He was just so cool.”
Another standout moment for Andy was seeing first hand the victory of Jessica Ennis. He said: “In her last event on the heptathlon, when she actually crossed the line I was the closest person to her.”
But above all, the victory of Britain’s Mo Farah was a sight, and a sound, to behold! Andy explained: “I was trackside for his 10,000m, monitoring the race. As he got to the home straight the noise was incredible.
“During Mo Farah’s race the noise level was sore on the ears standing at the trackside on the last three or four laps.
“They couldn’t show the footage from the finish cameras on television because the stadium was shaking so much.”
Andy used to be a marathon runner, but injuries forced him to take up officiating.
And 18 years later his dedication to athletics led him to London.
He said: “We’re out every weekend from April until September, mostly in Scotland, but the level I’m at I also do UK meetings or international ones in London or Manchester or wherever.
“The furthest I’ve been is away to New Zealand for the Paralympic championships. New Zealand is a very small country and they didn’t have the numbers of officials needed, so they invited some from the UK across.
“But London was the pinnacle of my career. Nothing will ever beat that. It was like being in a bubble for two weeks. I couldn’t quite believe I was there.”
While on duty in London Andy also officiated on Eilish McColgan’s 3,000m steeplechase in which she came a creditable ninth.
He is also friendly with Freya Murray, the Scottish athlete who replaced Paula Radcliffe after she pulled out of Team GB.
As a thank you to all the officials, they were each given a free ticket for a ringside seat at the London 2012 closing ceremony, but after fighting his way out of London with thousands of other officials, athletes and fans, it’s time for a rest.
Andy said: “The actual job is just like any other athletics meeting, it’s just the same as what we normally do.
“I’m absolutely drained physically and emotionally with the pressure of 80,000 people watching you make a mistake, or not!”
Andy is home for a rest, but in two weeks he is off again, this time to officiate at the London 2012 Paralympics.