Another major milestone was reached yesterday on the road to the 2010 Games, as VANOC began handing out accreditation badges and uniforms to Olympic volunteers.
Vancouver’s Uniform and Accreditation Centre opened its doors at the PNE’s 3,960-square-metre Forum Building, where the first of 25,000 volunteers were given credentials and outfitted with official 2010 uniforms.
Vancouver realtor Ryan DeLuca is taking time off during the Games to volunteer as a host at the Olympic Village, where he’ll check the accreditation of people coming and going from the facility.
“We’ll be (the athletes’) first introduction to Vancouver. I think it’s going to be absolutely amazing,” he said, adding he hoped to get a gig at the village because it’s one of the few places volunteers can interact with all athletes.
“It’s a great way to interact with people from around the world,” DeLuca said. “(And) to make a whole new set of friends and meet people with the same passion of sport as I do.”
Ruth Grierson, a team leader at the Athletes’ Village, said she’s wanted to volunteer for the Games since before Vancouver won the bid.
“I’ve already put in my application (to volunteer) in London (2012),” Grierson said.
She has been working for two years as a pre-Games volunteer and yesterday she finally picked up her complimentary teal 2010 jacket, shirt and vest, and navy pants.
“They’re really comfortable,” she said. “It’s really exciting because you know (the Games) are really close now.”
Grierson said the accreditation process will go quickly for volunteers.
“It’s such a big space that they’ll be able to handle a lot of people,” she said.
The Uniform and Accreditation Centre will be open every day — except for a few over the holidays — from now through the Olympics and Paralympics.
Allen Vansen, vice-president of operations and integration with VANOC, said the centre will serve around 52,000 staff, volunteers, contractors, athletes, team members, media and sponsors.
“The accreditation process is quite substantial and getting to today’s date is quite a monumental occasion,” he said. “We now have people accredited to enter the venue and have their uniforms.”