Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Becoming a blue jacket volunteer Part !Feb 22, 2010

Well the day finally arrived where I would get my accreditation and uniform for the upcoming Paralympics games that start on March 12, 2010.

So after having a nice relaxing steam, shave and shower I headed over to Seymour Street to catch a bus out to the Uniform and Accreditation office which is located in the old Forum building on the PNE Site at Hastings and Renfrew - this is also the site of the Pacific Coliseum where later Monday the singing of O Canada was the order of the day as Canada captured Gold in Ice Dancing.

There were many people on the bus headed out to the event and also a couple of Downtown Eastside residents to entertain those on board - nothing really bad about them but some of the visitors might have wondered what was going on but as the bus proceeded easterly towards Renfrew they had left the bus.

I arrived early and after a brief walk through the new Gardens that have been put in the Park - I head into the center - greeted warmly and proceeded to first station - name and they check my ID that I have used throughout the process - passport in this case - and then a piece of paper and follow the red line on the floor - around the corner and it's time for the photo - similar to the passport procedure - try not to smile and no teeth showing allowed - did keep the glasses on as I now wear them all the time but as they are transitionals - change color from outdoor to indoor - we had to wait a minute or two for them to clear - click and it's done - then around another corner and wait the processing - meanwhile others are clearing the same hurdles - one woman has the same position as me but with the Andorran delegation - finally after a couple more minutes my name is called and I have my accreditation - while I would love to show a picture of it here I won't until after the Games because of security concerns - let's just say it gives me full access to all venues during the Para Games and has a nice big R on it that means I have access to the Residence at both villages.

After this it's around another corner - take a number and wait for a chance to get your uniform - there are 4 in front of me - before long my number is called and I am greeted by Brenda who will do the paperwork and help me try on the clothing - no she doesn't come into the change room - just asks for my sizes and picks them off of the sample rack - I selected XL as my sizing but after trying on the pants and there are a heavy lined type - no choice on this - issued to all working Whistler or Cypress - they are pretty loose fitting so I try on and settle for the Large which equals to a 36 - 38 waist size - this makes me happy as I have lost about 15 lbs since Xmas - for the Jacket and Vest I opt for the XL - like my clothes a little more baggy than tight fitted - you know us full figure guys don't want to show too much now do we. As usual the pants legs are too long but I don't know how easy it will be to shorter them as they have zippers to the bottom and even hemming them part way isn't easy before of all the pockets that they have.

After trying the clothes on it around another corner and into the stock room where they pull my sizing and put together my welcome package - some other goodies I will report in the next post - then it's to the checkout - all items are bar coded and recorded as been issued to you.

So in less than an hour - actually only about 45 minutes I am finished and walk down Renfrew street to catch the #4 bus and head home.

Later in the evening I try on the remainder of the clothing - shirts etc - they are a good loose fit - the sleeves are little long but with the way that I do laundry should shrink without too much trouble.

I have 48 hours to exchange any sizing - also although I am doing just the Para-Games the uniform is the same as all other volunteers except that I have a patch to put over the rings on the back of the jacket - attaches easily by using a series of grommets - the rings on the front are velcro so you just change one for the other.

I now feel like I am a member of the Team 2010 as we are officially called.

Part 2 coming later but now it's a trip out to Richmond to check out some of the attractions at the Ozone etc.



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