Friday, January 15, 2010

Part Two:Training to be an Olympic volunteer Day One Jan 8, 2010 - Whistler venues and the drive home

After arriving in Whistler and doing another driver change we head for the Athlete's village and await for our tour time at 2:30 but first about the checkpoint - today it's just sign our name beside it on the training list but it is will a lot more secure than that at Games times.

We are met by our trainer and walk through the Village - the roads and sidewalks are very slippery as there is some freezing rain falling - it is also windy and cold - a good introduction of what things might be like during the Games - we don't get to see inside the suites as they are busy putting the finishing touches on the Village.

It's then back into the car and time to try and find the various venues and more importantly just where we are expected to go when we have a passenger.

Our first stop is Whistler Creekside - home of the original Whistler ski area that will host the Alpine Skiing events - finding the venue is easy - you can't miss it - finding where we are to drop off and park was a little more challenging - while the signage is going up it appears to be a little incomplete partly because the area is a ski village and people living and working there still need to go about their daily routine.

We stopped a couple of security guys - explained who we were - showed them our map and they told us where we would be going.

Next on to the Sliding center - from a friend I knew where it is located so we headed there but tried to take the recommended route which isn't necessarily the shortest route - found the sight but not the drop off area - apparently they will have to walk a short distance from the parking area to the participation area.

I should note with the exception of the Olympic Park all the Whistler venues are existing sites or located right in the town center so access isn't the greatest by car - Whistler was built as a mostly car free Alpine town so it can be a challenge to drive to events but that is part of our role.

Next - the medals area - it is not finished but we did follow the signage and found the site - then it's on to the Media center at the Convention center - still finishing up here as well.

Final stop will be the Whistler Olympic Park - the home of the Nordic, biathlon and ski jumping events - located about 15KM from Whistler or the Village it is a pleasant drive up in good weather - it is starting to rain etc as we make the drive up - we reach the checkpoint - tell them who we are and are allowed to proceed to the three venue areas - this area is a lot easier to navigate as it was planned for the Games - it will be operated after the Games by the Four First Nations on whose territory the Games are being held.

After a quick driver change and darkness we start the drive back to Vancouver.

A couple of us were let off in downtown and the others took the car, refuelled it and return it to the depot.

Thanks to Wes, Douglas, Lucian and Steve for a good day - if these are kinds of people that will be volunteering the athletes and general public will be well served.

I will see all the Steve tomorrow at our next training session.

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