Friday, January 15, 2010

Part Three:Training to be an Olympic volunteer Day 2 Jan 9, 2010 - A day in the Classroom

Saturday saw me heading out to the BCIT campus in Burnaby and once I located the correct parking lot and paid my $4.00 for a full day of Parking it was inside to some coffee and breakfast goodies - most of the things that I really shouldn't be having but did anyways - see some of the guys that I spent yesterday with.

Should mention before I forget just how friendly and easy going all the instructors have been so far.

As one who had to learn throughout my working career about treating all customers, staff and people in general in a positive smiling way it was good to see that is the Olympic spirit from the start.

In talking to Wes he has just found out that he has been assigned to the Polish team as one of the other NOC assistants has dropped out.

To keep it short the day was a condensed crash course in all things relating to our positions as Assistants to the National Olympic or National Paralympics teams.

Many of the volunteers have spend a couple hours a month for the past eight months learning what we have crammed into one long day.

We get a couple of short breaks and then a great lunch - good sandwiches and juice - then its back for the last two major lectures.

We get lots of chances to ask questions - some are very active in this regard - I am fairly mute - do have a few to ask.

After our lunch break we get a sterling video presentation from a person with disabilities and how we should approach them - his message is simple and to the point JUST ASK - don't push that wheelchair before you ask. It was a video re-run of a live lecture that he had given to an earlier and was very enlightening. He also used the words DON'T ASK - when you see a person with disabilities don't ask them what happened. I should note that this view wasn't shared by one of the Paralympians who was part of the presentation team. In his case he will give a short answer.

Our final presentation was from Allison Forsythe - a Canadian Olympic Alpine ski member in 2002 and 2006 who's career was ended because of an injury during a training run for the Torino Games - quiet the story and she had lots of do's and don't from an athlete point of view.

It being 5:00PM we finally adjourned with lots of knowledge and binder full of info - it contains the info that we received verbally today.

Gave Wes a ride back to his Son's place in Kits and then headed home and supper.

Next up - a visit to the Vancouver Athlete's Village on Thursday evening.

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