Zhu Yuwei: Those days be a Volunteer in Rio

Authors: Hu Yaqian, Huang Yu   Photographer: Huang Yu  Date: September 26, 2016


  Accompanied by the slow extinguish of Rio Olympic flame, this world-famous event slowly came to an end. What left for us are the memory of indomitable Olympic athletes, but for Zhu Yuwei, a student majors in Computer Science and Technology of Information Engineering School of Nanchang University, it is a different and unique "Olympic memory"- the experience being a Olympic volunteer.

Having a dream without the fear of long road ahead

Zhu Yuwei said, “everyone has a dream in their hearts, and my dream is to do something special at 20 age that can be recalled at my old age”. In September 2015, when Zhu Yuwei was informed that he could register for the Rio Olympic volunteers, he did not hesitate to join it, that year he was just 19 years old. After a series of rigorous tests, such as character, language, online communication and online interviews, Zhu Yuwei began the long wait.

As the organizing committee only provided a meal for volunteers, Zhu Yuwei must pay for his international round-trip air tickets and accommodation. Thus, he had to complete a variety of training courses sent by the Olympic Organizing Committee and improve the level of English during the waiting time, what’s more he was worried about money. It is nearly 30 hours flight distance from China to Brazil, even the cheapest ticket costs 20,000 yuan.

Having a dream without the fear of long road ahead

Long wait is a test and torment. Until February of this year, the Olympic Organizing Committee still had no reply, Zhu Yuwei began to be irritable and confused. “Should I continue to wait for it?” Whenever Zhu Yuwei wanted to give up, there was a voice ringing out, “keep going, do not give up until the last time!” At last, he made it to the end. “Persistence makes success”, Zhu Yuwei finally received the late invitation letter in May. At that moment, he excitedly jumped up. Finally, he was able to personally participate in the world-famous Olympic event on behalf of Nanchang University and China.

Tied over the difficulties with solidarity and friendship

Talking about the Olympic volunteer experience, Zhu Yuwei said, “I am deeply touched by this experience”.

Although Zhu Yuwei received the invitation of the Olympic Organizing Committee late and the accommodation beds in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil were fewer and fewer, fortunately, a volunteer aunt from Beijing left a bed for him from the beginning, which reducing great worries for him. On the eve of the departure to Brazil, the negative news about Rio kept pouring in, such as street violence, Zika virus, economic crisis and so on. With the feeling of apprehension, Zhu Yu Wei arrived in Rio de Janeiro at 3:00 a.m. local time. At that time, the airport was not busy and he saw an old lady over eight years old driving a Fiat car to find him. It was his landlord, a kind-hearted old lady, worried about him and insisted on picking him up late at night. At this moment, his nervousness disappeared and he felt warm in the depth of his heart.

When the volunteer service began, the work wasn’t smooth as Zhu Yuwei thought. At first, he was assigned to the national Olympic committee to serve for the delegations, but later he received no further guidance. It seemed that the volunteer work will come to an end strangely. At this time, a volunteer postgraduate from the University of Washington crucially suggested him to change his position and gave him the mailbox of language group leader. Finally, Zhu Yuwei was assigned to receive media as he had wished.

Dedicate enthusiastically and harvest life joy

Zhu Yuwei worked in the Reservation Office of Press Conference, his main work were to introduce the processes of reserving conference to journalists and Olympic delegation, decorate conference room and distribute wireless headset. However, it is obvious that this work wasn’t as easy as he originally imagined. Only during the period of training, he found that the staff around all speak Portuguese, English rarely come in hand. Thus he can’t complete the training successfully, let alone his work. Just as he found no way out, a warmhearted Brazilian girl sitting beside him translated the Portuguese key points to English for him. Then he gradually entered into the state of study. “This kind of accommodating spirit is reflected in many volunteers, they infected me and I am proud to be a member of them.” Zhu Yuwei said happily with a smile.

During the working time from 7 a.m. to 17 p.m., Zhu Yuwei not only did his own work but also provided various help for new reporters every day, such as directing the way, looking for lost objects, helping other departments workers and so on. “In fact, we were always busy, confused and disoriented. Because of the language barrier, we communicated with gesture language. To my surprise, the special communication was successful. It was so interesting.” Zhu Yuwei really enjoys this volunteer work. Although the work was hard, every time he successfully completed a task or enthusiastically helped others, he would feel very happy.