PyeongChang Winter Olympics was a memorable event in that people all over the world gathered together in one place. This 23rd Winter Olympics was held in PyeongChang, Gangwon Province for 17 days from Feb. 9 to 25, and some HUFSans went there for volunteer work. The Argus asked HUFSans with their training process, volunteering experience, and what they thought about the participation of North Korea in the PyeongChang Olympics.
I always wanted to break boundaries, leading myself to the bigger world. That is a major motivation that keeps me always looking for new opportunities. I thought PyeongChang Winter Olympics would give me a unique experience, so I volunteered.
My job was “English Interpreter” in cross country skiing and ski jumping. I interpreted interviews in “mixed zones,” where players have brief interview with the press.
Most of the training courses were about the code of behaviors, a list of things to do and not to do. There were also many rules to keep that were especially strict about uniforms and venues to work at. The most impressive course was real-time interpretation training. I found it a little bit challenging, however interesting.
I did not find anything wrong with North Koreans coming to the games. Both Koreas have been in trouble for the last decade; however, every state should be able to participate in the Olympics, since it has to be immune to politics.
I always had an interest in aptitude for interpretation and was working for the University Student Interpreter’s Association (USIA). I heard that PyeongChang Olympic was recruiting volunteers for interpretation. I thought that holding the Olympics in Korea was special, and I volunteered to get good experience.
I was an “English Interpreter” for cross country skiing. I interpreted athletes or reporters’ comments.
I had training during the summer and right before going to PyeongChang. I had some education such as venue-related education and first aid education such as CPR. In interpretation training, a team of two or three students did a role play of an athlete and reporter with a prepared script.
Personally hoping for immediate unification of North and South, I regard the participation of North Korea as a positive phenomenon. I hope for North-South relations to be smoother and North Korea’s stance to be amicable after this Olympics.
Last year, when the “Hello PyeongChang Test Events” proceeded, I had a chance to volunteer as interpreter for the international convention. That was an interesting experience and I volunteered again as an interpreter for PyeongChang Olympics.
I was assigned to the “English Interpreter” of Language Service Team. I worked on interviews between reporters and athletes. Also, English interpreters assumed interpretation in press interviews when a simultaneous interpreter was absent.
Interpreters usually prepared advanced data about athletes and their careers during break-time. It helped a lot for more comfortable interpretations during interview times.
I regard that North Korea participated in this Olympic as positive. However, it is a pity that some hard-working South Korean hockey players could not participate in the games.
I lived for 14 years in the Netherlands so I thought participating in the Olympic games was a great opportunity for me to use the Dutch language effectively in Korea.
I worked as a “National Olympic Committee (NOC) assistant,” who creates a positive and supportive game environment and supports athletes and team officials NOC assistants provided language support, helped delegations with arrivals and departures, and assisted with the check-in and checkout procedures.
I had to attend two lectures about what this work was like. Then in November there was a 2-day-long training program in PyeongChang for being familiar with the Olympic venues. The last training was called “The field training program.”
I personally think that the participation of North Korea in the Olympic games may be a good opportunity to improve the relationship between two Koreas.
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By Seo Eun-sol
Reporter of Campus Section