Sochi 2014 Volunteers Among the Celebrated London 2012 Games Makers
A "golden hundred" Sochi 2014 volunteers has completed its work at the Olympic Games in London, part of the thousands of volunteers praised for helping to make London 2012 a great Games.
The London 2012 team contained 80 volunteers from Russia, who worked a total of 1000 shifts, or 8 000 hours. A further 24 volunteers will be working at the Paralympic Games which begins on August 29.
The Games was an opportunity for the volunteers get some important work experience in all sorts of areas, from event services to helping with transport. The volunteers will be passing on the knowledge they have picked up at the Games in London to their colleagues at the 26 Sochi 2014 Volunteer Centers across Russia and sports higher education institutes throughout the country, ensuring this knowledge is applied at the 2014 Games in Sochi.
The volunteers in London have been called "Games Makers", an acknowledgement of the importance of their work to the successful staging of the Games. At the end of the Games all the volunteers received a commemorative souvenir: a relay baton with a letter of thanks from the Chair of the London 2012 Organizing Committee and Olympic champion from the Moscow 1980 and Los Angeles 1984 Games, Sebastian Coe.
Having joined the London 2012 Organizing Committee team, the volunteers were able to discover first hand the successful operation of the sports competitions, press center, Olympic village, transport hubs and other Olympic venues. Each volunteer has a fascinating story to tell and undertook important duties to help deliver the Games. The volunteer translators interviewed athletes and acted as translators at a number of press conferences. The volunteers working within the medical team accompanied the athletes to the doping control area.
A total of nine Sochi 2014 volunteer birthdays were celebrated during the Games in London. It was a particularly memorable birthday for one of the more senior volunteers, Tatiana Taramzhenina, who turned 71. On the day she went for a ride on the London Eye so that she could get a bird's-eye view of the Olympic host city.
The President of the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee, Dmitry Chernyshenko, noted: "Sochi 2014 has every right to be proud of its volunteer team. Here at the London Games, they have really thrown themselves into the action and worked conscientiously. They worked extremely hard, but the atmosphere and drive of the Olympic Games have kept them going and enabled them to keep delivering amazing work to help make the Games a success. Our volunteers proved that they could work well as a team and I have no doubt that this team will be operating at its peak in 2014!"
Albina Khusainova, a volunteer: "I was really lucky - right from the start I have been in the thick of things! We drew lots and I was given the honor of accompanying our team at Russia's flag-raising ceremony in the Olympic village. It was an indescribable feeling, and the memories I have will stay with me for the rest of my life!"
Anna Manuelyan, a volunteer: "My task was to greet the official guests at the ceremonies - the representatives of the International and National Olympic Committees. Essentially I was the first person they saw when they arrived in the Olympic park. It was great that the feeling we had in our hearts was at one with the mood of our guests: they said hello to us, shared a joke, asked us how we were getting on, and always gave us a smile. And as for the Ceremony itself - it was out of this world!"
George Pirtskhelava, volunteer: "I was struck by the respect everyone has here for the volunteers and the work they do. Before the Games started we felt like members of one big friendly team - especially after we were given a full set of uniform, containing not just clothes but all sorts of nice surprises: a watch, a bag, a drinks flask and an umbrella with the Games logo, and also some souvenir badges and a volunteer's diary. It's a pity, in a way, that all this is already part of Olympic history!"
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