I realized that I had never properly told you about my experience at Rio Olympics and how my daily life as a language services volunteer had looked like. I wrote here about the road to become Olympic volunteer and about the costs and benefits, but never about the actual work and daily routine. So let’s change it! I was lucky to get into the area of language services and I was even luckier when the venue assigned to me was my preferred venue of artistic gymnastics! During a skype call months before the games we were told, that we could write an email and name our preferred venues. That would obviously not guarantee getting these venues, but they said they would try to allocate us according to our preferences. In my case that worked perfectly! Continue reading “My first Olympic experience – volunteering at Rio 2016”
This August I have spent 2,5 weeks in Taiwan volunteering at the Universiade Taipei 2017. Universiade is a multi-sport event like Olympic Games but, as you might have guessed, organized for university students only. The level of competition is pretty high and they say that the winners of Universiade have around 35% chance of becoming Olympic gold medalists. There were around 150 delegations from all over the world and it was the biggest event of this kind for Taiwan. I have to confess that I really did not know much about Taiwan itself before going there and my only motivation was to take part in the games. I already had experience with the Universiade in Belgrade in 2009 (wow, so long ago) and it was amazing! So I was hoping Taiwan would be fun as well… It turned out I was absolutely right =)
On my second day in Rio I had to go to volunteer accreditation center and to pick up my uniform. It was located in the Samba city (Cidade do Samba) close to the city center. I checked the map and went to “Central” metro station from where I was supposed to walk like 2km. What I found at Central was a chaos of people, vehicles and street crossings all around …it felt quite uncomfortable and intimidating to be in this mess of events (but me generally I don’t like big cities and their madness). I was afraid to take out my phone and check the route (I was expecting someone to snatch it from my hand anytime) so I went to the police and asked for help… They were no good in pointing me into the right direction, but at least in their presence I was brave enough to use my phone 😉 Continue reading “Rio de Janeiro the crazy”
First question I get asked when talking about volunteering for the Olympics is whether they pay for flight tickets and accommodation? The answer is unfortunately no. (Though for me it was only partly “no”, but I will talk about it later). In general you have to arrange your flight and accommodation yourself, which I agree, is very discouraging. But don’t close this page yet! I will try to convince you that it is still doable and worth it 😉
Olympic games and many other sport events can not be held without volunteers. In Rio in 2016 there were around 50.000 (!) volunteers and for the winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang more than 20.000 volunteers are required. Being a volunteer at such event is a life time experience and if you love sport, international community and volunteering, you should definitely try!
The application period starts very early (around 2 years in advance) and closes around 1,5 year before the games. I applied in November 2014 to volunteer in Rio in August 2016. The first step in the application process is rather easy: you need to fill out online form with basic questions about yourself and your motivation (you don’t have to write an essay, there are only couple of lines required – but be sure you try your best in expressing your genuine interest in volunteering).