THE goalkeeper of Worthing Swimming Club’s water polo team had an Olympic experience to remember when he met Prince William and saw the inside of the games’ village.
Ben Alcorn, who trains at the Aquarena, in Brighton Road, Worthing, and lives in Hamilton Close, Rustington, visited the games as part of Team GB’s Olympic Ambition Programme.
The programme aims to give athletes the experience of being at the Olympics before they compete at the games, in a bid to make them more comfortable for when they do take part.
Speaking of the experience of going to the Olympics and meeting Prince William and sporting stars such as Dame Kelly Holmes, Ben, 24, said: “It was incredible.
“We had team GB kits on and everyone was cheering us on. People came up to us and wanted pictures with us. Everywhere we went people were staring at us, trying to work out who we were.
“It made you realise just how big an event it was.”
Among the unexpected highlights was Ben and the water polo team getting the chance to meet Prince William, who used to play the game at university.
“It was surreal meeting someone you’ve seen so much on the TV. We saw him getting married on the TV and then we were meeting him. But he was just a nice, normal bloke. At half-time the announcer said it was great to welcome his royal highness to the game. But he kept his head down as if to say ‘I’m not here, I’m one of you’.”
Ben was taken into the Olympic village as part of his experience and said his “jaw dropped” when he saw the eating hall.
“We had about 45 minutes to eat our food, but it took me about 20 minutes to get my jaw off the floor. It was the size of about three to four football pitches, and it had everything from Jamiacan food to Chinese, and even a McDonald’s.”
Great Britain’s water polo team did not qualify for the Olympics in London, but Ben said they were hoping to make the games in Rio.