Friday, January 06, 2012

A Volunteer's View from the WYOG

Ted Edmunds, a young freelance journalist based in Stirling, applied to be a volunteer at the Winter Youth Olympic Games back in the summer, indicating that curling was his preferred winter sport. He was thrilled to be invited to go out early to Innsbruck and be a member of the ice crew. He saw my blog post about the event (here) where I said that I had been unable to find anything on the official website about the curling rink that is being constructed within the Innsbruck Exhibition Centre (above) for the curling competitions. He quickly offered to help. Here's what he writes today:

"While the official volunteer period doesn't begin until the 10th, the ice crew have been busy since Wednesday morning getting the ice ready for the inaugural Winter Youth Olympic Games.

Situated near the centre of Innsbruck, surrounded by imposing snow covered mountains, the Innsbruck Exhibition Centre is going to feature four sheets for the two competitions that begin at 9am local time on Saturday, January 14 - Day 2 of YOG competition. Practice ice for the teams is the day before; Friday 13th ... Team GB's more superstitious players take note!

The team of volunteers is being led by Canadians Wayne Cubbon and Mark Shurek and German Joachim Fritz - all vastly experienced, engaging and good company for the twelve hours we spent on the ice yesterday (Thursday).

As I write, another flood is being put on and we are preparing the painting equipment either for use tonight or first thing tomorrow morning. For the more aesthetically minded, the houses are going to be green and blue as they were in Vancouver 2010.

The stones for the competition have already seen use at two World Championships: the 2010 men’s in Italy and last year’s women’s in Denmark.

Decoration and banners are being added all the time and the facilities here seem excellent. The food and hospitality afforded to the volunteers so far has been flawless – hot meals, friendly conversation and help whenever we need it."

Thanks Ted. I'm sure all who read the blog regularly will enjoy hearing more of your experiences at the WYOG.

Top photo: Outside the IEC. Apparently there has been plenty of fresh snow since this was taken.

Work goes on inside the curling hall.

Ted spotted these from the bus from the airport. Naturally, he had to go back for a closer look!

All copy and pictures © Ted Edmunds, 2012.