Tuesday, 25 September 2012


To quote the Hitchikers Guide To The Galaxy... "Million to 1 chances happen 9 times out of 10".

The following story I witnessed first hand during the Paralympic Games and involves a close friend of mine.

Dave Taylor and I have been best friends for the best part of 25 years, we have history, we have shared laughter together and helped each other through difficult times. We had daughters within 5 months of each other who have grown together from babies to young women and are also best friends. We both work together driving buses.
Dave and I were selected to drive buses at the Paralympic Games and this is where the amazing story unfolds.

The highlight for the first week for us two was taking  the Brazilian athletes in from Heathrow to the Olympic Village. These included the football teams, track and field athletes and swimmers.

During the second week we drove athletes from a multitude of countries to and fro the village to various arenas and locations within the park. Dave worked different shifts but we met up for a meal most evenings and related our duties, stories and observations.
Dave was getting frustrated at only having to hang around spare and not pick any athletes up for 3 days when he was asked to attend the Aquacentre in case he was needed. He parked in the loading area outside and was dismayed to see 2 buses ahead of him fill up and empty the centre. He was then asked to pull up immediately outside as there was 1 remaining athlete to pick up.
From the pool entrance emerged a swimmer from Barbados and boarded Dave's bus.
He was a very warm and friendly chap who spoke excellent English and he exchanged pleasantries and greetings and on alighting the bus presented Dave with a Barbados pin badge as a momento.
At last Dave felt useful and was pleased to have played a part and not sat around twiddling his thumbs.

The following day, Dave had a day off and traveled home to his family, his own armchair and bed.
During the evening he enjoyed a Chinese meal and watched the opening ceremony of the Paralympics which he prerecorded on Sky+.
As he tucked into his chow mien the ceremony was at the part where the various countries athletes paraded the stadium waving their national flags etc. The commentator was adding various facts and trivia concerning each country. It was then he announced the introduction of the Barbados team which made Dave pay attention. The team consisted of just one such athlete, the only man representing his country, for swimming, ......Dave Taylor!
The very same sole athlete that had shook his hand, presented him with a pin badge and alighted Dave's bus the day previous. Neither had noticed  each others names on their accreditation passes whilst they exchanged pleasantries and Dave would not have noticed their shared names if he hadn't gone home and watched the ceremony.
The odds of them meeting was staggering. The more I think about the unfolding of a chain of events that led to that moment occurring beggars belief.
It really is a small world.

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