I, Olympic Volunteer
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In the summer of 2012, 70,000 people of all nationalities descended onto London, ready to begin their volunteering experience in the 2012 Olympics.
There was one young girl who got accepted to become a Games Maker at these games. She thought, "what have I done to be given this amazing opportunity?"
Only when speaking to her youth forum co-ordinator did she realise that she had as much right to be there as everyone else. After all, she had worked hard for people since she had joined the Youth Forum in 2005.
Looking back on the work she had done, she came to appreciate all that she had achieved in the last seven years e.g. helped set up the Youth Mayor position in Merthyr Tydfil, helped set up the youth cabinet, volunteered in the Welsh Government and Save The Children, volunteered in South Africa, working groups and helped promote children’s rights in the local community.
The young girl went off to London to stay for two and a half weeks in a hostel in order to start her volunteering for the Olympics. On the first morning of her first shift the young girl had to get up at 4am to be in Hyde Park to work at 6am. On this first shift she met all her managers, called Gareth, Ian, Laura and Steven. Two of these managers were Canadian.
When the girl first met Steven she thought he was American, but he was Canadian. Steven was quite short in height. He had a Mohican haircut, a tiger tattoo on his left leg, and a full sleeve tattoo on his right arm.
Steven’s first impressions of the volunteers was that there was a diverse group of them of all different ages and heights. On the first day the volunteers had athletes, Steven liked to take charge down at the athlete zone on West Carriage Drive. He took the clipboard off the bus team leader to see what was happening, was always running off with it to sort something out.
On the third day of the Olympics in Hyde Park there was some problems at the athlete load zone, where some members of the media wanted to access the entrance, but the young girl knew that only athletes were allowed in that way and they had to walk up the road about 200 yards and to the right for their entrance. The media clients were getting angry because the race was going on in the Serpentine River and they wanted their photos.
The young girl remained calm but the media clients were getting angrier, so Steven stepped in as his role in management and defused the situation. He told the media on this occasion that they could use that entrance but to come out using their own entrance. So Steven saved the day and said to the young girl that she was right, and that they should respect her because she has a job to do just like them. So the problem got sorted out.
A few days passed and on the last day of the competition at the Hyde Park venue a problem arose that no one was expecting. The problem was that a load of buses were being sent to the Hyde Park venue to be staged for after the event that was going on that day. The bus drivers didn’t know where they were going so ended up two hours out of the way, so when the athletes came out expecting the buses there weren’t any. They were not happy.
The athletes were not happy because they wanted to go back to the Olympic Village to chill out before the final weekend of the competition and the closing ceremony, so the volunteers and Steven were on the phones to the depot to see where the buses were, and they said that they would be about an hour away.
When Steven told the athletes, some of them accepted it and some got even angrier. The volunteers could understand why because it was a boiling hot day and if they were hot then the athletes really had to be hot too. In the end the buses turned up and all the athletes got onto them. Some of them apologised for their behaviour. They had said that the hot weather always fetches the worst out in them, but the volunteers and Steven all said that they completely understood what they were going through, so the athletes went off with a smile on their face.
After the last bus had gone, the venue had organised a thank you party to celebrate a job well done. The venue laid on food and drink for all the volunteers, and they all said goodbye to each other and went off to work at different venues for the last two days, or went home because their Olympic experience was over.