Pyeongchang 2018 Volunteer

Alice Hong

Last February, on the 25th Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics came to an end. This Olympic was Korea’s second Olympic, followed by 1988 Seoul Summer Olympics. Many press from other countries praised this international event. Pyeongchang recruited volunteers on summer of 2016 and the ones who were selected had to get trained for a year. I was selected and participated as a press volunteer.

Traditionally, winter Olympics give medals to players on a separated area from the venues. On each of the venues, they give simple presents, and this is called the ‘Venue Ceremony.’ This time, Pyeongchang gave ‘Soohorang’ (Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics’ official mascot) dolls to the players. To give the medals, they have ‘Victory Ceremony’ on certain days at a specialized place called the ‘Medal Plaza.’ As a volunteer, I worked at this ‘Medal Plaza.’ Today, I would like to tell you guys about how I worked as a volunteer at this ‘Medal Plaza.’

I had to arrive at the Medal Plaza by 3P.M. every day. I was provided room and board at Yonsei University Wonju Campus. It took about one and a half hours to Pyeongchang from Wonju, so I changed my clothes into the volunteer uniforms, and boarded on the bus to Pyeongchang every 1 o’ clock.

Unfortunately, the bus did not take us to the place where I worked because of the traffic jam. Due to this, we had to walk about 10 minutes after we got off the bus. When we arrive at the medal plaza, we went directly to the check-in center to tag our AD cards. Afterwards, we headed to the main press center, our actual work place. On the way to the main press center, we were able to see and experience many things. We were able to see ‘human-headed bird’ on the way which was issued on the opening ceremony. Also, there were many things to experience. We could experience different things at Samsung, Kepco, Coca Cola zone and we could also buy official goods at the super store. Moreover, some foreigners could ask you for ‘pin trade’ if you walk around the plaza with the volunteer uniforms on. ‘Pin trade’ is one of the olympic’s tradition in which you trade pins made from broadcasting centers or several organizations. Luckily, I was able to get, not trade pins from several broadcasting centers.

Photo 1

^Human Headed Bird (Photo by Gayoung)

If I walk through, I was able to arrive at my workplace, the main press center. Main Press center is located right next to the big stage where the victory ceremonies take place. Many journalists abroad come here to see each game’s medalists. Here, I did three kinds of work. First one was to check the journalists’ AD card at the ACP point. I had to ask the journalists, ‘May I see your AD card please?’ and check their AD cards, whether they have the number 4 and 5, or not. Sometimes, there were people who weren’t able to go in, requesting to let them in. It was harsh whenever I had to face that kind of situation.

Photo 2

^Hard working journalists at the main press center (Photo by Gayoung)

Second thing I had to do was to answer the journalists’ questions. The last thing I had to do was to escort the medalists at the ‘mixed zone.’ ‘Mixed Zone’ is a place where the medalists have interviews right after the victory ceremony.

Along with the medalists’ victory ceremony, every night, there were ‘headliner shows’ by Korean famous idols. Also, on days when the weather is good, they had drone shows. The shows were marvelous and healed me a lot on the cold weather. Pyeongchang was very cold but it gave me many good memories. Thanks to this opportunity, I promised myself to take part in the next Olympics as a volunteer. I recommend you to take part in these volunteer work!


< With my volunteer co-workers

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