CHINA / SOCIETY
Olympic volunteers, logistical staff saluted for excellent work that made ‘truly exceptional’ Beijing event possible
The faces of Olympics
Published: Feb 21, 2022 11:09 PM Updated: Feb 21, 2022 11:38 PM
Volunteers clean the ice rink during an ice hockey competition in Wukesong Arena on February 12, 2022. Photo: VCG

Volunteers clean the ice rink during an ice hockey competition in Wukesong Arena on February 12, 2022. Photo: VCG


For the past fortnight, the world has seen both glorious and touching moments experienced by the Olympians, who gave stellar performances on the Beijing Winter Olympic stage, inspiring multitudes around the world. Making the event possible, however, has been the hard work of tens of thousands of volunteers and staff - their names may not be mentioned, but their efforts, affability, and excellent work will be remembered through the success of this "truly exceptional" Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games.

Hailed as "heroes behind the scenes," a total of about 18,000 volunteers served the Games at the competition venues and Olympic villages, 94 percent of whom were under the age of 35.

Moreover, during the Winter Olympics, the number of logistical staff in urban operations in the city of Beijing was estimated to have reached 180,000, covering various fields including epidemic prevention and control, transportation and medical services, and meteorological operations.

In the only two competition sites in Beijing, there were 88 medical stations, with more than 1,300 medical staff, and 18 designated hospitals to serve the Winter Olympic Games in the venues and Olympic villages.

The Global Times reporters witnessed venue security and mountain running teams constantly clearing the tracks, especially in the days of heavy snowfall. Despite the plummeting temperatures, they cleared the fallen snow regularly. There were also track test skaters and liners, whose skills were at such an excellent level that they needn't disrobe to participate in a competition.

In Olympic villages, aside from staff who ensured that all daily amenities and needs of the international athletes such as cooking and cleaning were met, there were also tertiary services on offer such as beauty salons, newsstands, travel agencies, flower shops, printing shops, dry cleaners, and convenience stores to make the athletes' stay as comfortable as possible.

This also reminded people of American athlete Tessa Maud, who was moved to tears by the enthusiasm of Chinese volunteers who said to her "Welcome to China."

At the closing ceremony of the Beijing Winter Olympics on Sunday, a video was played to pay tribute to all 18,000 venue volunteers  and all the logistical staff. When the video was played, IOC President Thomas Bach gave a standing ovation in honor of the volunteers. 

Luo Hanyi, a student at the Peking University who was the team host for Canada's women's ice hockey team, told the Global Times that serving in the Olympics has been "a childhood dream come true."

"The whole system of the Winter Olympics is enormous… it calls for the support, understanding, and cooperation of everyone in every process," she said. Luo and her coworkers' efforts were appreciated by the team she worked with, who gave them a big bag of gifts.

 Luo and her coworkers' efforts were appreciated by the team she worked with, who gave them a big bag of gifts. The Canadian team won a gold medal in the end, and Luo was thrilled and shared the joy with the players.

"We are all ordinary people. For our debut participation in the Winter Olympics, we are all just in the spirit of fulfilling our responsibilities and making sure everything goes well. We just hope that the Winter Olympics will be a success from the beginning to the end," a medical staff member surnamed Shi responsible for virus prevention told the Global Times at the Capital Indoor Stadium.

As the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics come to an end, many of these indispensable members of staff and volunteers who provided guaranteed excellent service will be ready to welcome the arrival of the Winter Paralympics.

Members of staff wearing personal protective equipment take swab samples off lockers in the media center on February 3, 2022. Photo: VCG

Members of staff wearing personal protective equipment take swab samples off lockers in the media center on February 3, 2022. Photo: VCG

Logistic employees and volunteers celebrate Chinese snowboarder Su Yiming winning the silver medal in the Men's Snowboard Slopestyle on February 7 at Genting Snow Park, Zhangjiakou, North China's Hebei Province. Photo: Cui Meng/GT

Logistic employees and volunteers celebrate Chinese snowboarder Su Yiming winning the silver medal in the Men's Snowboard Slopestyle on February 7 at Genting Snow Park, Zhangjiakou, North China's Hebei Province. Photo: Cui Meng/GT

Liners work in the slopestyle venue in Genting Snow Park, Zhangjiakou, North China's Hebei Province. Photo: Cui Meng/GT

Liners work in the slopestyle venue in Genting Snow Park, Zhangjiakou, North China's Hebei Province. Photo: Cui Meng/GT

A volunteer prepares the ice prior to the Women's Single Skating Short Program Team Event at Capital Indoor Stadium on February 6, 2022 in Beijing. Photo: VCG

A volunteer prepares the ice prior to the Women's Single Skating Short Program Team Event at Capital Indoor Stadium on February 6, 2022 in Beijing. Photo: VCG

A photographer climbs to the photo position at the freestyles skiing halfpipe venue. Photo: Cui Meng/GT

A photographer climbs to the photo position at the freestyles skiing halfpipe venue. Photo: Cui Meng/GT

Volunteers guide reporters before the opening ceremony of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games on February 4 outside the National Stadium in Beijing. Photo: Li Hao/GT

Volunteers guide reporters before the opening ceremony of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games on February 4 outside the National Stadium in Beijing. Photo: Li Hao/GT

A cameraman works during the freestyle skiing aerial event. Photo: Cui Meng/GT

A cameraman works during the freestyle skiing aerial event. Photo: Cui Meng/GT