Friendly faces come with helping hands – News

Volunteers are present at the sites to provide interpretation and information services, assist people with disabilities and handle emergencies. PHOTOS BY YUAN XUEJIN / FOR CHINA DAILY AND XINHUA

By CUI JIA

Published: Fri 11 Feb 2022, 11:11

Well-prepared volunteers for the Beijing Winter Olympics provide professional services and extend the warmest welcome to Games participants.



Volunteers are present at the sites to provide interpretation and information services, assist people with disabilities and handle emergencies.  PHOTOS BY YUAN XUEJIN / FOR CHINA DAILY AND XINHUA

Volunteers are present at the sites to provide interpretation and information services, assist people with disabilities and handle emergencies. PHOTOS BY YUAN XUEJIN / FOR CHINA DAILY AND XINHUA

Around 19,000 volunteers dressed in blue uniforms are stationed in and around the venues to provide information and interpretation services, assist people with disabilities and handle emergencies. Half are specialist volunteers who have professional knowledge, skills and expertise in specific areas.

The performance of volunteers plays a vital role in delivering world-class sporting events, as well as helping participants around the world learn more about China. The Games started on February 4 and will continue until February 20, and the Paralympic Winter Games will be held from March 4 to 13.

It was not easy to be part of the Games volunteer team, with more than one million people, including more than 2,000 people with disabilities, applying for positions. About 95% of them were between 18 and 35 years old.

Candidates had to pass a strict screening process and interviews before they could join the team.

In November, the Beijing Organizing Committee for the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games sent a thank you letter to those who failed to volunteer.

The pandemic has posed great challenges to many aspects of preparedness work, and the committee has revised the requirements for volunteers, taking epidemic control and prevention into consideration, the letter said.

“Although you were not selected as a volunteer for the Beijing 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, each candidate is an excellent promoter of the Olympic spirit and volunteerism,” the letter said.

Among the successful candidates, the youngest is 18 years old and the oldest 63 years old. All volunteers had to take training courses.

Jiang Yuxin, who serves at the Ice Cube curling venue in the Beijing competition area, said people who worked as volunteers at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing trained volunteers for the Winter Games. of 2022.

Jiang, a law student at Peking University, received training on venue operation and learned the sport of curling and how to serve people with disabilities. He took part in test events in October.

“Beijing 2022 will surely make young people proud of the country and fall in love with winter sports,” Jiang said.

He said he hoped the volunteers would impress the world with their enthusiasm, professionalism and dedication.

Dong Jiachen, a volunteer studying at Peking University who also works at the Ice Cube, said volunteer work helps her connect with others and wider society, giving her an invaluable sense of accomplishment.

“I will do my best as a Beijing 2022 volunteer to effectively solve problems and let Chinese and foreign visitors feel the warmth of Chinese youth.”

Li Wanghua, a student at Hebei Normal University, said she applied immediately when the organizing committee started recruiting volunteers.

“The professionalism and passion of the volunteers at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 are deeply ingrained in my memory, even though I was only an elementary school student at the time. It is an honor to have the opportunity to imitate them.

Li, 23, who serves at the Zhangjiakou Competition Area Medal Plaza, said the training she received exceeded her expectations. Since the competitions in Zhangjiakou are all outdoor snow events, the volunteers received cold hardiness training to prepare them for working long hours in cold weather, she said.

“Volunteers are irreplaceable links in ensuring the smooth running of the Games.

Zhang Lina, deputy head of the organizing committee’s volunteer department, said young volunteers face unprecedented challenges. “They need to learn how to deal with the stress caused by epidemic control measures and working in cold weather. These conditions are even new for the organizers.

All volunteers are required to enter the closed-loop management system, where they can only travel between Games venues by dedicated means of transport.

Zhang said the volunteers’ work can sometimes feel trivial and repetitive, so she hopes they can learn to work under pressure.

“Attention to detail is also important for volunteers, as they directly serve foreign athletes, journalists and guests. Moreover, they can help the world understand China better.

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