Tuesday, February 9, 2010

25,000 Volunteers

Yesterday we spent the day putting up the signage and decorating Britannia. As a result, BRT looks more like an official Olympic venue, as opposed to a community rink. One room we decorated was the Workforce Breakroom. This is the area that all of the staff and volunteers go to for breaks, lunch and for pre-shift meetings. We tried to make it fun and welcoming for everyone.

VANOC puts a lot of emphasis on treating the volunteers well. There are over 25,000 people who have given up their time to help make the games a success, so they want to make sure that they feel appreciated. As well as the awesome uniforms that everyone receives, all volunteers were invited to attend a dress rehearsal for the opening ceremonies on Feb. 10. Yesterday we also received our "shift gifts". These are special Olympic trinkets that they earn for volunteering. Each day at check-in the volunteers will get their shift card marked off. If they have reached a certain milestone (eg. 3rd shift, 6th shift) they receive .....SPOILER ALERT... either a Team 2010 pin, a key chain, a stuffed Miga or Quatchie (Olympic Mascots), or a Quatchie ice pack. On their last shift, they get a Vancouver 2010 Swatch watch. Not bad!
Speaking of the Olympic mascots, I was not really a fan before I came out here. However, now they are really growing on me! Quatchie is my favourite-he is a hockey goalie and is very cute. They are very popular and are mobbed whenever they appear. There is a whole story about them that you can read at http://www.vancouver2010.com/mascot.