Heather King is the owner of North Vancouver’s Active Life Physiotherapy. She worked as a volunteer physio at the cycling events at the London 2012 Olympic Summer Games and documented her experiences for the North Shore News. This is her final report.
Wow, the Games have come to a close. Like, several million people I enjoyed watching the closing ceremonies on TV with my Scottish relatives. It has certainly been a different experience watching the games through the eyes of the BBC as opposed to taking in the action live from the velodrome.
With a few days of reflection from my volunteer experience, I know that I will treasure the memories from these Games forever. I was asked on a number of occasions why I chose to pay my way to London for travel, accommodation and registration with the Health Professions Council to volunteer to work 12-hour days for these Games. I must admit the thought crossed my mind with all of the last-minute paper work. However, now that the greatest Games are complete I can confidently say that I am blessed to have had this experience. I had the opportunity to work with a highly skilled team of health professionals from physiotherapists, massage therapists, sports medicine physicians, nurses, ER specialists and anesthetists who all volunteered their time to make the Games happen. Former Olympians were part of the volunteer team sporting the Games Maker uniform. It is amazing to see the world come together with athletes as the stars and thousands of volunteers working countless hours to create an experience like no other. The games have closed but there is still a buzz of Olympic energy in London and the excitement is building for the Paralympics as volunteers move about sporting their new purple Paralympic uniform.
I will remember watching gold medal performances from the GB riders, the deafening crowds in the velodrome, the victory ceremonies, the athletes training and seeing Canadians give it their all. I will remember the help I gave to athletes so that they could compete at their best and I will remember the team I connected with to make these Games happen.
I hope I have been able to give you a glimpse into these games and that in some way the Games will inspire you to get active in life and support volunteerism. The Paralympics are next — tune in to watch the great athletic performances.