Volunteers in action!

The first check of volunteer candidates for the Olympic and Paralympic Games will be held well before the Opening Ceremony of the Games: at the Test Events. As soon as snow appears on the slopes of Krasnaya Polyana, activists from 26 Volunteer Centers across Russia will be rapidly directed to Olympic Sochi.

The Black Sea, sun, mountains, the Olympic Park, clean cold air, many famous athletes and endless drive are all part of the Test Events in Sochi.

The Test Events are a great opportunity to check their strength in the organization of major international sporting events, and a unique chance to be among the first to see and test the new Olympic tracks and stadiums, as well as a convenient opportunity to get acquainted with future volunteer colleagues.

The FIS Nordic Combined World Cup stage, FIBT Bobsleigh and Skeleton World Cup stage, ISU Short Track Speed Skating World Cup stage, Official International Luge Training Week, Luge Championships, the World Wheelchair Curling Championship: these and many other sports have been successfully organized and staged by volunteers, who from morning to night responsibly carried out their work.

A lot of work has been done! Volunteers were involved in various functional directions. They greeted the spectators and VIP-guests at stadiums, helped athletes with accommodation in hotels, provided translation services, worked at the information counters, supported the operation of the communications center and performed other duties. The sports volunteers, with a high level of physical preparation and skills in Olympic and Paralympic sports, prepared the tracks for the competition, and were responsible for safety in the area they were staged, and also helped the judges. However, no matter what job was done by volunteers, they always dealt with it quickly and easily! No matter where volunteers have worked, everywhere they created a joyful mood and enthused those around them with their drive.

Yes, at first, knees wobbled and volunteers experienced mild anxiety before future work at the event. But faith in their own strength and responsibility before other team members allowed quick adaptation to the new conditions. And they were surrounded by kind and helpful people, always ready to help, which let them breathe easier and made it simpler to work.

Volunteers dressed in uniforms of blue and red, were reliable support not only for the event organizers, but also for participating athletes. The future Games assistants gave them moral support, and were delighted with them in their success and shared their distress in defeat. Active participation in the organization of the event included elderly volunteers, who were happy to share their experiences with their younger colleagues.

During the Test Events, each volunteer received invaluable organizational experience and new knowledge, was able to see performances of athletes from around the world with their own eyes, gained new friends and many positive emotions and memories. This was proven by the gratitude of the volunteers written all over the board in the canteen where everyone could express appreciation to each other and note their moods and impressions. Some remembered the unexpected meeting with Russian commentator Dmitry Guberniev, some remembered how they helped search for lost skis for athletes, and some will always remember most beautiful victory of the men's short track team that won the gold medal in the relay. Someone was lucky enough to be photographed with the French Nordic combined Olympic champion Jason Lamy-Chappuis.

All the volunteers who participated in the Test Events were awarded certificates and gifts, and thanked for their excellent work. Volunteers from Krasnodar, Moscow, Vladivostok, St. Petersburg, Arkhangelsk, Volgograd, Tomsk and other cities became one big happy family. It is they who have already had a taste of the Games.

Ahead are the Games in Sochi, and we must be fully prepared for the major sporting event of the country!

Quotes from Test Events participants of the 2012-2013 season

Finally, my first shift. I worked with a team of doctors and helped them with translation, when athletes asked doctors for help. Fortunately, the skeleton drivers received no injuries during the whole training week, so there was not so much work to be done. During my shift, I was able to talk to coaches and athletes. We talked about sport, the track, life and work. The skeleton drivers all speak English, so I got terrific foreign language practice.

Leonid Bovkun

Language Services function:
There are a lot of photographers and television crew members in our office. Everyone is very pleasant and friendly. In the evening, we will be engaged in "recovery" of the winners to take them to the press center at the PSX Stadium. It will be great fun!

Maria Krupysheva

Press Operations function:
I have not been to Krasnaya Polyana for a long time. In the years of my absence, everything has transformed. I admire the athletes and their spirit. I am glad I enrolled in the ranks of volunteers, as they support the athletes during the competition and give them strength.

Nadezhda Ovchinnikova

elderly volunteer:
Vladimir Putin came up to us and shook everyone's hand. He asked how we became volunteers for the Test Events, and what our jobs were. We talked about the stages of volunteer selection and our wonderful KubSAU Volunteer Center. We also promised to the Russian President to organize and stage the best Olympic and Paralympic Games in Sochi in 2014.

KubSAU volunteers

Our volunteers meet and escort guests and participants. It is nice work. We practice foreign languages and make many new friends. In Sochi, we were able to see representatives of 72 delegations and talk to them. It's great that participation in the Test Events means the average person can volunteer to meet leading figures of the country.

Ksenia Ovcharova

Event Services function: