STANDING centre stage as your country’s anthem strikes up and its flag is raised to the stadium’s rafters would rank among the finest moments of any athlete's career.
But for 21-year-old Charlie Bird, it was just another day at the office as the Hereford rugby player was part of the team handing out the hardware during the Commonwealth Games’ medal ceremonies.
Working all but one of the athletics sessions at Glasgow’s Hampden Park, Charlie got up close and personal with the best of the best, including the Games’ star attraction and 4x100m gold-medallist Usain Bolt.
Charlie said: “He was brilliant with the crowd, we had to wait for him to get back from trying on everyone’s tartan hats, but I shook his hand.”
However not even the rain-soaked sprinting of Bolt could top local girl Eilidh Child’s emotional silver in the 400m hurdles.
“The roar was unbelievable,” said Charlie. “It was so loud – there 40, 000 in there but it sounded as loud as 80,000 when she was running.”
A Sport Marketing and Management student at Manchester Metropolitan University, Charlie said he hopes to use the experience of seeing a major event unfold first-hand in his future career.
He will also get to the Harris Tweed kilt he wore during the ceremonies – an outfit that led one friend to text “you look pretty fantastic in a kilt” after Charlie got some camera time.
One thing he won’t miss – the Kenyan a Jamaican anthems.
“Just because they got played so often,” he said.