Olympic Park driver stars in tribute swim film
London 2012 bus driver Semina Youself is starring in a film, mostly of her swimmimg lengths of the new Olympic pool at Stratford.
The film short created by the Olympic Park’s Artist in Residence Neville Gabie pays tribute to the staff in delivering the London 2012 Games.
In between shots of Sam, as she called, swimming the length of her 1.3km park route the driver tells something of her life and ambitions.
The Arts Council-funded piece, entitled Twelve Seventy, hopes to give a personal insight into the ordinary jobs that are as much a part of the story of the Games as the athletes competing this summer.
Neville filmed Sam - one of a team of 30 bus drivers on the Olympic Park - swimming the distance of her 1,270-metre route in the 17,500-capacity venue.
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Sam who originally came from northern Cyprus now lives in Leytonstone, and became a bus driver after receiving funding from the ODA’s Apprentice Scheme, which allowed her to apply for a driving licence. She had previously worked as a swimming instructor and lifeguard.
Neville Gabie said: “As just one of the thousands of individuals with their own life stories and reasons for working on the Olympic Park, Sam’s story gives us a snapshot of some of these characters; those people who have all played a part in its creation. They are some of the best known faces of the Olympic Park during construction, the first people you see on entering the site and the last before leaving.”
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Sam said: “I felt privileged to be able to swim in the Aquatics Centre. I have always wanted to be an athlete and this made me feel like one. It was really emotional and will be something I will always remember. I could have stayed in there forever.”
Twelve Seventy will be screened for free during March at the Newham Leisure Centre , Plaistow, where Sam Yousef is a regular swimmer.
Screenings will be on March 7, 8 and 9 at 6.30-7.30pm each evening, with light refreshments and an introduction by Neville Gabie.
Anyone attending will receive a free swim at Newham Leisure centre.
A range of Neville Gabie’s works created during his ODA Residency is on view at the Sparked exhibition at the View Tube until March 18 daily from 9am–5pm. Admission is free.