They come from all backgrounds, nationalities and generations, and they are here to make the Innsbruck 2012 Winter Youth Olympic Games happen. They are the volunteers.
Part of the ‘Grey Eagles’ programme, which features volunteers who previously volunteered at the 1964 and 1976 Olympic Winter Games in Innsbruck, Brigitte Zerlauth jumped at the chance to be part of the volunteer workforce for a third time at an Olympic event.
“In 1964 it was my first Olympic Games and I was a girl of 16 years. I was happy that such an event was coming to Innsbruck. Now I am doing this because I think this is the best thing ever seen for years,” the 63-year-old said.
Another ‘Grey Eagle’, Josef Spieler, is also back.
“I’m proud that Innsbruck has the chance to show what Innsbruck is. Myself I am proud to be part of the Games, volunteering,” said Josef.
Of the 1,400 volunteers, the young generation is also here. For 22-year-old Hannah Kranebitter from Innsbruck serving in the workforce volunteer management has eye-opening.
“It’s really a great experience to be working with so many people. I enjoyed it because I was able to see a lot of different things,” Hannah said.
“I have been heavily influenced by my teachers who have been telling me that if you want to lead, first you need to serve and here that is what I’m doing to serve,” said Jovin Hurry an international volunteer originally from Mauritius who now lives in Sweden. He is responsible for the IOC services and protocol.
Benedikt Handler, a sport student working in the food and beverage service did not want to miss out on the Games.
“It’s very simple, I was impressed that the Youth Olympic Games were coming to my hometown. I would hate myself if I let the opportunity pass,” he said.