A wheelchair curling volunteer's busy experience

(Xinhua) 11:20, October 29, 2021

BEIJING, Oct. 29 (Xinhua) -- At the National Aquatics Center, known as the Water Cube at Beijing 2008 and now known as the Ice Cube for Beijing 2022, volunteers dedicate themselves to the ongoing 2021 World Wheelchair Curling Championship, a test event for Beijing 2022.

"Our daily work is busy but delightful," said Wang Yijia, leader of a volunteer team. He is a student from the University of International Business and Economics with a total volunteer service of more than 450 hours.

The cleanness of the ice surface is critical for curling events, as even the tiniest piece of dust or hair will affect the turning of the stone, so Wang and his teammates need to carefully wipe the wheelchairs of the athletes before each event to ensure the fairness of the competition.

During the event, the volunteers clean the curling stones before handing them to the athletes, and assist the referee in collecting invalid stones at the end of the rink. There are 16 stones for an eight-game match, which means volunteers need to wipe the stones over 100 times in total.

Each stone weighs nearly 20kg, so it is not easy for volunteers working continuously for hours. "When a match is over, our masks, gloves and clothes are soaked with sweat," Wang said.

In addition, the volunteers need to know the rules of curling and be able to communicate with referees in English to ensure the event runs smoothly. "Although we are tired every day, and legs are sore, we learn a lot and can always feel the warmth from the staff, athletes and our teammates," Wang added.

"At about 10pm on Monday night, the Russian athletes gave us candies after the match," Wang recalled. "Swedish athletes say, 'Perfect, thank you' when we put the curling stones in order, and Chinese athletes often remind us of taking a break."

"This is a valuable experience for me as a college student. It would be my great honor to be an Olympic volunteer to emphasize my dedication to the Olympic spirit," Wang added. 

(Web editor: Zhong Wenxing, Liang Jun)


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