Monday, 27 February 2012

The Door to Sochi

From the perspective of a volunteer, the 2014 Olympics Games in Sochi, Russia are just around the corner.  The phrase books and audio files for Basic Russian are out.  Curling is an international language, but getting around in a foreign city during the confusion of an Olympic games will call for a solid basic level of understanding and speaking the language.

Being a native English speaker at the 2012 Vancouver Olympic games was challenge enough! In Russia, knowing my directions, my transportation cues, my restaurant lingo and my money talk will give me a bare minimum.  The training event for Sochi - the 2013 World Junior Curling Championships - is less than a year away, so there's no time like the present to start sparking my gray matter and picking up a bit of Russian.

The 2012 World Curling Championships are only weeks away.  The Canadian curling athletes are counting the days, and counting their CTRS points to try to grab a birth in the 2013 Canadian Olympic Curling Trials "Roar of the Rings" in Winnipeg, or at least, in the Capital One pre-trials "Road to the Roar" earlier next year.

My journey to Sochi began the last few days of the Vancouver Olympics in the volunteer lounge of the Olympic Curling Venue.  Contacts were made, email addresses were shared, and the talks have begun.  The curling resume has been dispatched.  The volunteer application has been completed, and whispers of commitment are beginning to make the next leg of my Olympics journey feel real.  I have been tentatively slated to serve, although there remain many hoops to go through and arrangements to make.

Travel and accommodations for Sochi will be much more of a challenge than they were for Vancouver.  I don't expect PyeongChang to be as difficult as Russia.  My travel skills are improving as are my connections.

I'm looking forward to carrying my friends and curling contacts along with me on this journey to Sochi.  Keep in touch.

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