Olympic.org speaks to Sochi 2014 volunteer Ksenia Fedorova about how her experiences as a Games Maker in London will help shape the volunteer programme at the 2014 Winter Games.
Q. What have you been doing during the Games?
A. I am part of the Sochi volunteer team. There are about 80 of us who are volunteering here from different volunteer centres across Russia. We are working here as regular volunteers in different functions and we are exploring the Games and getting the experience of being Games Makers so we can learn and then use that knowledge and experience when we get back to Russia to prepare for the Winter Games in Sochi in 2014.
Q. How excited were you to be chosen as a volunteer for London 2012?
A. In the beginning, I couldn’t believe it. We had lots of meetings in Russia before the Games to prepare and get to know each other and we were really excited when we finally arrived in London. We were all smiling because we were so happy! For most of us, this was our first experience of an Olympic Games and so it was like our dreams had come true.
Q. What has been the highlight of the Games for you?
A. For me, some of the best moments are when we are working and when we are helping people. I’m working at the Main Press Centre, in the language service team, and I have been working with journalists from lots of different countries – not just Russia – so when I am helping them I realise that I am doing something good for them and it makes me happy. Another highlight for me was when there was a press conference with a Russian athlete who had won a bronze medal and I was translating for them. Everyone was looking at me and I was so proud to be next to them and to be part of it. But probably the nicest moment for me was when I was on the train home after one of my shifts and a lady that I had never met before saw that I was a volunteer and she thanked me for all my hard work. It was so amazing and unexpected. I told all of my friends about it.
Q. What can Sochi 2014 learn from the volunteer programme in London?
A. We can learn a lot. There are a huge number of people, so we can learn about how you work with all the volunteers together and how you prepare the volunteers in the training programme.
Q. Do you think the Sochi 2014 volunteer programme will have a positive influence on Russian society?
A. Yes, of course. Right now in Russia there are more than 25 volunteer centres, which were created as part of this new volunteer movement for Sochi 2014. More and more people are realising that the Games are coming and they can volunteer for the Games. And it’s not just young people – it’s older people too who want to be a part of it. I think it will increase the number of people who are involved in volunteering. People will see that it is fun and it does a lot of good. Our experience here sets an example and my friends have even been asking me how they can become volunteers as well.
Q. After your experiences in London, how much are you looking forward to Sochi 2014?
A. I’m looking forward to it more than ever. One of the most important things for me is using this experience in London in the future. During the Opening Ceremony we realised that it is only two years until it is Sochi’s turn and soon I will be teaching other volunteers how to be a good Games Maker. So I’m not only looking forward to the Games in Sochi, I’m also planning what we need to do after my experience in London.