Monday, 14 December 2009

Olympic Fever!

Olympic fever is going around Vancouver and its very contagious!

One of my biggest regrets was missing out on the Sydney 2000 Olympic games. It was in my own country and due to me being a poor student, I didn’t do enough to get myself to Sydney and be part of it. When I found out that the 2010 Winter Olympics would be in Vancouver in February, I knew that I had to be part of it, so while starting my 2 year working holiday in Toronto or Montreal would have been better for me for every other sport, the chance to live and work in an Olympic city as it gears up towards the games was too much to pass up.
Sure, the Winter Olympics are different. Australia always prides itself on its results at the Summer Olympics. We generally fight above our weight with a pretty small population, but in the Winter Olympics? We have just three gold medals ever, and only six total medals. It’s not surprising given our lack of (good quality) snow and ice facilities in Australia, and our best bet at getting medals in 2 months time may still be another Steve Bradbury.

None of that makes the upcoming games any less exciting for me however. Being part of one of the world biggest sporting events is about more than just the actual sports, or people from my country winning or losing. It’s going to have people from all over the world coming for a big party, and what can be better than that?

There are people in Vancouver who aren’t as excited about the coming games as I am. Like any big event, the Winter Olympics will cost the locals a lot of money, and many residents feel this, along with limited access to many of the event locations for the months leading up to the games, is too much to give up for the two week competition. Many, however, are embracing the games, with business looking to take advantage of the thousands of tourists set to flock in, while individuals are also getting into it, renting out their spare rooms for the games in the hope of making a little extra cash.

Vancouver is a very international city, and there’s already thousands of people flocking here to be part of the games, accepting low pay and long hours to be part of what really could be a once in a lifetime experience. Myself included. I’ve signed up to be a part of it. The pay is terrible, the hours potential very long, and the job itself something a slightly trained monkey might be able to handle. Having said all of that, I cant wait. I’ll be part of a temporary workforce of thousands, toiling away behind the scenes to help make sure this event goes off without a hitch.

My long term goal is to get to all of the worlds biggest sporting events over the next few years, however this is probably my only chance to live somewhere before, during and after the games, and I intend to make the most of it.

Bring on February!

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