When I moved back to Japan in 2017, one thing that excited me was a chance to volunteer for the Olympics. While that journey was delayed by a year, the opportunity to be part of one of the world’s biggest events is now becoming a reality.
The Olympics brings to mind an ideal of unity, sportsmanship and inclusion like no other event. These ideals are what I signed up for. Being part of such a massive global event, I reasoned, would surely be a beneficial experience.
My goals for participation beyond that are to network with people from across the country and around the world. While that scope has been greatly reduced thanks to COVID, I should still have the opportunity to engage with people outside my normal social circle.
To date I have attended several training sessions. One was about Olympic Spirit and inclusion, another for team building, and the next taught us basic first aid. Last month I had leader’s training, and later in June I will attend training for my role as an Olympic Family Services Team Leader. I’m excited to see what that’s all about.
Yesterday I got my uniform, and while I was expecting a bit more swag, it was still pretty cool. I got convertible sweatpants, polo shirts, athletic shoes, a couple of bags, and a prepaid Visa card to cover train fares. That’s me all decked out above!
My behind the scenes look so far though, has had me scratching my hairless head about some of the decisions being made. So I’ve had to apply a philosophy I used back in corporate: “Those decisions are above my pay-grade.” This was a hard lesson for me to learn. An inability to release what is our of our control may also be the reason that thousands of people have opted out of participation in the Olympics, despite their initial enthusiasm. The show always looks better from the seats.
For my part, what happens in the process of presenting the games does not dissuade me from wanting to take part in this once in a lifetime experience. Despite all the nonsense surrounding the 2020 games here in Tokyo. I don’t want to document those situations, instead I’m focusing on keeping it positive and focusing on the volunteer spirit. If you’re curious, it is easy enough to find countless stories of poor decisions and scandal surrounding the games using your favorite search engine.
So here we go, just a few more weeks until the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. One year late, but hopefully with the same spirit and enthusiasm. I’m looking forward to sharing it with you.