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‘Night we’ll never forget’
Danielle Plummer, from Bicester, got to dance with ballet star Darcey Bussell, pictured, during Sunday night’s performance
DANCING with Darcey Bussell is a dream of many ballerinas.
But for Bicester woman Danielle Plummer it was a fantasy fulfilled when she took to the stage at the Olympics closing ceremony.
The 20-year-old had no idea when she auditioned in October that she would be rubbing shoulders with dancing royalty.
She said: “It was amazing. We didn’t know we were going to be dancing with her at first but then we were told at the second rehearsal.
“I didn’t think anything like this would happen to me.
“I never thought I would ever be dancing with Darcey Bussell.
“Even if the Olympics ever come back to the UK when I am older I will never be able to do this again.”
Ms Plummer, who attends dance college in Watford, went to five rehearsals, each five hours long.
Ms Bussell, who was principal dancer with the Royal Ballet, is recognised as one of the greatest English ballerinas of all time.
About 26 million people in the UK and an estimated 750 million across the planet tuned in to Sunday’s musical extravaganza which brought two weeks of sporting triumph to a close.
A host of British musical talent took part, ranging from Fatboy Slim to The Who.
Tom Peters, 26, from Abingdon, was a drummer at both the opening and closing ceremonies. He said: “The closing ceremony was a lot more like a gig – but it was the biggest gig of my life to date and arguably probably will be ever.
“I play in a mod band so seeing The Who play was a real high point for me but I preferred the opening ceremony – there was much more power and energy behind it.”
Emma Fuller, 33, from Bicester, also took part in both ceremonies. On Sunday night her job was to help athletes get into the stadium.
The occupational therapist said: “It was a lot of hard work, but brilliant.
“The opening ceremony set the mark but there was a party spirit this time. The athletes were all really friendly and I got a lot of high-fives as they came past.”
Lawrence Clarke, who finished fourth in the final of the 110m hurdles, said: “It was a great evening. It was very surreal to be surrounded by all those superstars and I’m really looking forward to Rio.”
Meanwhile Olympic rowing champion Pete Reed, who studied at Oxford University and whose team-mate Andy Triggs Hodge lives off Cowley Road, found his girlfriend Frauke Oltmanns in the crowd and proposed to her.
He said: “I had my guys there with me. It was in the middle while everybody was having a big party. It was wonderful. We are both thrilled.”