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Nurse thrilled at opening ceremony role


An Olympics-obsessed nurse who took unpaid leave to take part in the opening ceremony was personally thanked by the head of the United Nations as Friday night’s extravaganza exceeded all expectations.

Kate Harries, who operated one of the clouds which opened the show and held the curtain back for the athletes to enter the stadium, was thanked by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon as he walked past.

“It was a very surreal moment,” the 30-year-old palliative care nurse said.

“When the head of the UN turns round and thanks you… That was very bizarre.”

Ms Harries said she was “exhausted but elated” after the show, which “exceeded all expectations”.

“I can’t believe what I’ve just experienced,” she added. “One of my best nights ever.”

Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle dedicated the £27 million ceremony to the 15,000 volunteers who brought it to life, saying they represented “the best of us”.

Ms Harries, who was born in Aberystwyth, Mid Wales, and lives in Maida Vale, west London, said the show was the culmination of some 250 hours of rain-soaked rehearsals.

“It was absolutely incredible,” she said. “I don’t think it’s sunk in yet. I keep having to pinch myself to remind me it’s real.

“It showed Great Britain in a really, really great light.

“There were some poignant moments, but also some very funny bits as well, which you can’t always say of an opening ceremony.”

She also said there were a few tears during the show due to a “combination of the excitement and the exhaustion”.

Ms Harries, who works at University College London Hospital (UCLH), added that the NHS section was “remarkable”.

“It’s such an incredibly important institution in Britain,” she said.

Praising the doctors and nurses who gave up their time to take part despite their “incredibly difficult and challenging jobs”, she added: “It made me feel really proud of them.

“It was for me, personally, one of my favourite moments. I’m very grateful Danny Boyle included it.”


Readers' comments (13)

  • Congratulations, Kate. You had a better job than those rocking around the children's beds which I thought was inapropriate. The night-mare dreams where uncalled for and will do harm when a child is going into hospital-this is what they will expect! Nurses dancing with Drs? I think both childeren and parents would be quite alarmed, esp if their child is critically ill or of timid dispositiom. We have the best health service in the world-let's keep it professional!

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  • "We have the best health service in the world-let's keep it professional!"

    Not according to the most reliable official sources such as the WHO and some of the leading healthcare consumer groups who produce fairly accurate statistics, and not according to much personal opinion both from the UK and around the globe.

    Please don't get complacent about it, but instead work towards making it the best health service in the world and find ways of guiding the government into providing what is needed to achieve this. Only then will all its workers and the nation have something to be proud of.

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  • Let us all keep it real people, GOSH put on a fabulous show, in their own time to show the world what we have, and rarely appreciate. A National Health Service where people go beyond the call of duty. Nurses and Doctors dancing, well done, there is enough sadness in the world without us adding more. Well done everyone for adding to what was hailed as the creates show on earth.x

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  • Get a bloody grip you bloody whingers. The GOSH section of the show was marvellous and made me proud to be a tiny part of the NHS.

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  • I thought it was great but I respect the opinions of those who it failed to please as well.

    I just find it a shame and very ungracious looking at some of the criticisms of the whole opening ceremony in the Telegraph that politics and cost had to be dragged into it as now it has come to pass none of that can be changed.

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  • Sally Carson
    Take it you don't remember the fairytales of your childhood then? As for them 'rocking' around the beds, even sitting on them (!), what on Earth were they doing having beds outside instead of in some slum Nightingale Ward? Oh, that's right, IT WASN'T REAL, IT WAS ENTERTAINMENT.

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  • Well said redpaddys12 :) and it wasn't just entertainment - it was stunning entertainment! :)

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  • wow,and what entertainment!

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  • sad when grown ups forget the fairytales.

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  • I thought the show was terrific , imaginative ,fun, celebrating what is so good about the United Kingdom. i think that because of these austere times we forget to enjoy ourselves.The enthusiasm that these people had on their faces came out of the TV screen and the time and effort they had all put in showed.

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