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Maksim Fyodorov, editor-in-chief of the Publishing House «MediaYug»: White Sochi nights (2004)
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To Vancouver — with glowing hearts

¹ 4 (2009)
Viewed: 2041

22 Russians were given honour to work as volunteers at the Olympic Games in Canada.

In fifty regions of Russia selection stages of competition «Olympic relay race of volunteers»Sochi — Vancouver — Sochi" have passed. In each region it has been chosen one applicant to the national voluntary team. The exception was made for Krasnodar region, as the host of the Games, which presented five persons. In the ending which took place in Moscow, candidates-of-regions were tested for fluent English, responsibility, organisation, ability to work in a multinational team, leading qualities, tolerance, endurance, ability to resist strain.

The commission of experts selected 22 persons. They should bring invaluable practical experience of the international level from Canada and pass on the baton to the compatriots — to the future volunteers of the Sochi Olympic Games.

 First Russian National Volunteer Team for Games in Vancouver-2010:

  • Anastacia Berezina, Mariy-El
  • Nelly Gudantseva, Tomsk
  • Artem Danilov, Blagoveschensk
  • Oksana Zhigareva, Voskresensk
  • Kiritt Zagursky. Tuapse
  • Elena Lopukhina, Petrozavodsk
  • Olga Makarova. Tuapse
  • Svetlana Mikhailova, Yaroslavl
  • Ivan Orlenko, Tver
  • Marina Pakalova, Volzhsky
  • Roman Potapov, Ryazan
  • Constantin Subbotin, Cheboksary
  • Alia Torchinova, Vladikavkaz
  • Sergey Ukolov, Moscow
  • Oksana Yatsenko, Vologda
  • Rostislav Goonba, Sochi
  • Evgenia Dyomina, Kaliningrad
  • Eleonora Ehrvandyan, Adler
  • Arutyun Caradzhayan, Sochi
  • Vera Orlova, Tumen
  • Egor Popov, Voronezh

«Volunteers were selected like cosmonauts»
Rostislav Goonba, the student of Russian University of International Friendship:

— In February, 2010 you will go for winter Paralympic Games to Vancouver with Russian volunteer national team. What is the prehistory?

— At the university I have learnt about selection tour of competition «Sochi — Vancouver — Sochi». Applications were made voluntary, and I decided not to stand aside. First of all, it is excellent possibility to fulfil yourself, to direct the energy into right channels, to serve the country. It is impossible to miss the chance to see the world and to be involved into Olympic Games.

— What is more difficult — to take the exams in university, or to win competition for the title of volunteer?

— It is difficult to give definite answer. At some stages of competition it seemed, that there is a selection of cosmonauts, but not volunteers.

At first, it was necessary to fill questionnaires in the shortest terms. Online testing in Russian and English languages became the following test. It was difficult, but we coped with it: 25 questions for half an hour!

At last stage there was a phone call directly from Vancouver and a real time dialogue in English. This time some questions were provocative, but nobody from participants of competition was trapped, passing the most steep turns without any harm for reputation. The victory was unexpected for me. Now I can't give up: ahead is the purpose — to present our country on the winter Olympic Games in Vancouver appropriately, and to learn much.

— What are you expecting from the trip to Canada? And what are they expecing from you?

— I am very sociable person, and the possibility to communicate with people of different nationalities, interests, approach to life, seduces me. The organising committee expects, that we will do our best: after all our country is the next, that accepts winter Olympic Games. In Vancouver we should turn to sponges and to absorb all helpful information, to consider all advantages and disadvantages of the organisation of the Olympic Games, and use only advantages in our Games. We will adopt practices, which cannot be got from theory, or even in training camp.

— What winter kinds of sports do you prefer, whom will you support?

— I've heard, that freestyle is included in the program of the Olympic Games,— it will be interesting to me. I like biathlon, but I think, that this kind of sports is much more interesting to watch on TV at home. Show of struggle of the best sportsmen of the world for victory during the Olympic Games always thrills. But, generally, I am interested in those kinds of sports, where there is extreme element, motion, adrenaline. As, for example, ski jump. I also train my body: I run in the evenings, I swim in the sea in summer. And I will support all of our sportsmen.

«I can, I want, I will do it!»
Eleonora Ehrvandyan, the assistant of the director of Russian university of international friendship, post-graduate student of Kuban State University, the editor of the youth newspaper «Our time is Sochi», the leader of city department «Molodaya Gvardiya»:

— How was the competition held, what challenging problems the organizers had put before you?

— Organizers of competition have offered the tasks simulating real working conditions of the Olympic volunteer. We should have coped with the group of absolutely crazy fans, who had come to the stadium. The test in English appeared to be simple, though, I estimate my knowledge of language as modest.

— How did you take the news that you are the Olympic volunteer?

The most original parting word to me was given by a member of the Olympic bobsleighing team, Alexey Voevoda. He has told: «The main thing, is to be not afraid of taking cloth in your hands. The volunteer does not only stands beautifully and speaks smoothly, he does everything that is necessary for the Olympic Games».

— What about your personal relations with sports?

— I am not the sports person, but I have hobbies. First of all, this is our sea, I like to swim very much. I go for a drive on a snowboard in winter. When the Olympic Games time comes, all of us are turning into fans. Medals, awards, they are minor for me. I wish, first of all, our sportsmen received that drive, which the Olympic Games can give. And I wish the Games were fair, and our Olympians weren't infringed.

«I am satisfied with myself»
Arutyun Caradzhayan, the student of the Sochi state university of tourism and resort business:

— What made you participate in volunteer team?

— I am the admirer of big sports, I used to play football professionally. How it is possible to miss the chance to go to the Olympic Games, to look at great sportsmen closely?

— Whether It is possible to call qualifying round predictable or there were surprises?

— On the one hand, I know sports from within, and team competition skills helped me to get into volunteer national team. But organizers of competition had prepared such tests, which were impossible to foresee. Exhausting enough there were hours-long calls from Moscow; it was necessary not only to answer the most unexpected questions, but also to illustrate answers with examples from your own life. Organizers were finding out my leader qualities, ability to resist stress, quick wit. They were interested in anything — up to preferences concerning the nationality of my future wife…

— What do the words «mission of volunteer» mean for you?

— We will bring experience of the organisation of the most mass sports holiday of a planet from Canada. To make Games in Sochi our national idea, it is necessary to wake people up. Only then it will be possible to gather 75 thousand volunteers for participation in the Sochi Olympic Games.

Author: Ludmila Bobrova, Vitaly Dorofeyev