Or is it… Why not live everyday with that glow of excitement, with that welcoming the world attitude of “This land is your land… this land is my land” I mean none of us are really the true owners of this earth.. we are just visiting it for a short time..
I wanted to share a little bit of my Olympic volunteer experience with you today…and then like everyone else it will be time for me to get busy with “LIFE”
February 12, 2010
I must say I have been totally amazed with the professionalism displayed by the Olympic Organizing Committee. As Canadians we owe VANOC a round of applause. Over the years I have been involved with a lot of sports events and fund-raising initiatives, but I have never seen anything as systematic as the 2010 Olympic Games. When I arrived at accreditation I was greeted by volunteers who were friendly, serious about their place and extremely helpful. The process of signing in, getting a photo, receiving my uniform ( 2 long-sleeved shirts, a vest, a toque, snow pats and jacket) measured to fit…. took 30 minutes. The backpack was my own purchase of $55.
It did not take long to realize anyone dressed in blue was involved with the games, and not necessarily as a volunteer.
I quickly picked up my schedule of appearances and got myself familiar with the lay of the land. 17 days of Olympics with 3 days off….
Whistler’s Bus System
If you were volunteering for the games the bus was free to ride. My first shift and most others started at 8am, which meant I needed to leave home by 7am to catch the local transit to the village where I transferred to the awaiting bus which took me to my venue. Never did I wait more than 5 minutes for a bus – the drivers were having fun and came from all across North America – as did the buses. It was fun to ride public transport because everyone was riding the bus… from all over the world, we asked where are you from? Are you enjoying the Games? How do you like Canada? We exchanged pins, stories, and laughed…..
Now here is something surprising…. the food was good. I ate breakfast at home most days before I left, I bought my coffee at Starbucks before catching my second bus.. I too had a system. They provided for the volunteers drinking water, juice, coffee, and of course Coca-Cola products. Lunch time you had a few choices of soup sandwiches or a hot meal and an assortment of cookies.. Dinner was usually a hot item with soups and salads and a dessert too… I know I saved big time having my meals covered…. $$$$$$ If you read my blogs you’d know I did go out for fancy feasts a few times too. The important thing to remember is, you have been outside all day, walking miles (km) to get to the venues, and in my case bringing on a sweat during each appearance. Everyday we attended at least four different venues, you get hungry & tired, yet you’re fueled by excitement!!! I should let you know now I will be writing a book on weight loss – doing this little gig and carrying an extra 10lbs… with plenty of walking is the secret…
What was exciting?
After each performance we would quickly change and head back out to watch the races….I was lucky enough to catch the Ski-Jumping front row, the Women’s and Men’s Downhill – Press Box!!! Biathlon, and Cross-Country, we attended most of the Sliding Center events, and if you have never seen the luge, bobsleigh or skeleton live you must GO… unbelievable! Most nights I had a show at Medals Plaza – we watched a different band or DJ every night….. hung out in the village everyday…Traded Pins with my daughter…. now that is something to watch…
The Olympic experience from my eight year old daughter Tashi http://bit.ly/d5ibOq
#1. I learned how to pin trade
#2. I learned about other countries
#3. Winter sport
#4. The competitiveness of US versus Canada…
#5. I had dinner with the Prince and Princess of the Netherlands…and their three girls…
#6. I loved the Medals Plaza
I tweeted from my phone – took instant pictures – typed short stories – and posted all the events for the day in Whistler…. Downloaded a free application from Bell – listing all the Olympic events from Vancouver to Whistler… and stayed tuned for who was winning the medals through Whistler Today… I wrote a few blogs at night-time and shared my experience with all my friends who wanted to know what was going on in Whistler… My family in Courtenay, my niece in Terrace, my good friends in Toronto, Kelowna, and Victoria…girlfriends in Ireland, London, Germany, Montana, and California … I connected my Facebook to my tweets and my blogs were fed through Hootsuite….this was a new way to communicate and everyone was on board. My months of studying “Social Network Marketing” were now paying off….
I can recommend you tune in or actually go and watch some of the Paralympics starting this Friday March 12th, 2010 – I have seen many of these athletes in competition and training here in Whistler – simply amazing the strength and endurance they put forth. I wish them all much success over the next ten days.
So my journey to 2010 is over, my treasure chest full… my memories many…. New friends a plenty…and for me the world is a smaller home, filled with stories from every continent… I will never look at life’s experiences the same again… On with the show this is it!
It is now time to take on the world in a different context…
Cheers! [tweetmeme source=whistlerheather only_single=false]