THE "amazing generosity" of the people of Helston has made a local lad's Olympic dream come true.
Alex Morgan, 19, enjoyed the experience of a lifetime performing at the opening and closing ceremonies, which he described as "mind-blowing" and admitted to being left speechless by the scale.
Alex, who is studying performing arts at Cornwall College, was one of almost 1,000 drummers who performed in Oscar-winning film director Danny Boyle's acclaimed opening ceremony, having passed two auditions after answering a newspaper advertisement.
He also helped marshal athletes from around the world in the closing ceremony. Both events in the Olympic Stadium were watched by global audiences of up to one billion.
In March friends of Alex's appealed for public support through the West Briton to help cover the cost of travel to and from London for about 24 rehearsal sessions.
By the end of May more than £2,000 had been raised, the target more or less reached.
Of those who contributed, Alex said: "I love them all.
"Thanks for the amazing generosity they have shown me. They have basically given me the chance of a lifetime.
"It was just mind-blowing. One of the most memorable images was the coming together of the five Olympic rings above the stadium."
And of the closing three-hour celebration of British music and culture, he said: "I have never seen so many bands," although regretted missing Madness at the start because he and other marshals had yet to escort the athletes out.
"A Spice Girl drove past me – I don't know which one – and George Michael walked right past me.
"(The stadium) was like an echo chamber – the sound of 80,000 people quadrupled by the time it reached us."
Alex said he and the other participants were given five days off after the opening ceremony before starting rehearsals for the closing event.
"It was just brilliant, I still have not quite realised that it has finished and I haven't got to do it any more."