It's eighteen days to start - as the Flame will be lit at 6PM PST that is the turnover time on the Games clock located on the north side of Vancouver Art Gallery.
For me there a few days of interest.
Later this week the official offer of a position as a assistant to a National Paralympic Committee - I will be one of a number of volunteers assigned to a delegation to assist their Chef DE Mission in helping their team and athletes have a safe and winning Games. The number of assistants assigned to a delegation depends on the size of the delegation - the smallest delegations get three assistants - one of whom is likely to be commuting back and forth from Vancouver - as we are a 24/7 operation - albeit the overnight is more a standby than anything else - we get one day off in 6 and will either work a AM or a PM shift of around 10 hours - yes there is an overlap - each delegation receives the keys to a certain number of vehicles which are at the disposal of the Chef to use as he sees fit - for the most part - we will be driving those cars BUT as long as the delegation officials are over 21 and have a valid driver license in their home country they are free to drive within the Olympic zone - we would just provide them with directions.
Because the number of athletes for the Para Games is about half of the number of the main Games all delegation assistants will be housed with the delegations in the Whistler Olympic Village.
More details on this job in later posts.
Feb 3 - I get to pick up my free ticket to the dress rehearsal of the opening ceremonies. I can purchased one additional ticket if I so please
Feb 10 - dress rehearsal
Feb 12 - the opening ceremonies - will watch on TV unless I get a volunteer assignment in which case I will be with the delegation - see Para Games opening ceremonies for more details.
Feb 22 - get my credentials and uniform for the Para Games
Feb 28 - Olympic Games end
Mar 3 - head to Whistler and take up residence prior to my delegation arriving.
Mar 4 - my delegation is expected to arrive and I get to meet the Chef DE Mission and other team members although we will have talked online prior to that - also get my proxy to pick up things like mail and guest passes for the delegation.
Mar 12 - head back down to Vancouver for the opening ceremonies for the Paralympic Games - we will march with our delegation from the staging area to the entrance of the stadium but then will stand aside as they take the floor.
March 21 - the Games end with closing ceremonies at Whistler.
March 24 - final day - all delegations will have left and I get to return home to Vancouver
April ? - wind up party for all volunteers - details to TBA later.
On my days off I am free to return to Vancouver via the Olympic Bus Network - if there is room on a team bus I can use that unless a team member arrives and needs a seat in which case I would to have to wait for a Workforce bus - Workforce is the VANOC term for all paid workers, contractors or volunteers during the Game. They will be running frequently 24/7 throughout the Games and my credentials are my ticket for a free ride on the transit system anytime during the Games.
On my time off between shifts I can take the free shuttle into Whistler and do as I please but we are cautioned that we will need our rest and not to overdo it.
It's going to be busy and fun couple of months.
As our training was for both Games there is still an outside chance that I could get a call to head to Whistler for the regular Games - if this happens my accommodation will be in a hotel, B&B or staff housing as there aren't enough beds in the Athlete's Village for all delegation assistants because there are more athletes than at the Para Games.