Rainham girl walks out with Usain Bolt in Olympic opening ceremony
Marisa Robinson, from Rainham, had the honour of walking out with the fastest man in the world - Jamaican sprinting ace Usain Bolt - during the parade.
The 13-year-old, who goes to All Saints Catholic School and Technology College, in Dagenham, was among the 204 pupils from host borough schools chosen to carry copper petals through the stadium, as the competing nations made a tour of the stadium.
She said: “Usain Bolt didn’t say anything but he smiled at me. The parade was kind of scary at first but once I was walking about I didn’t notice it as much.
“The Olympic people had come to my school and the Year 7s and 8s were asked if they wanted to audition to be part of the ceremony. I decided I would because it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. We were given a dance routine to learn in a couple of hours and then we had to perform it. I’m not an amazing dancer, I’m okay, but I go to a dance school and I know a bit.
“I was told in April that I had been successful and I was really happy. We did about ten practice sessions and then it was the big night! I didn’t know until a few days before that I would be walking out with Jamaica. We had to keep everything really secret.
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“I didn’t actually get to see the ceremony, which made me a bit sad - I watched it on TV the next day - but I was really happy to be part of it. My friends and family are all proud of me.”
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