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Regarding the desire to contribute, a man born in 1939 wrote that he signed up when they were searching for more volunteers. “So I thought, oh well, I can step in, it can’t be that bad.” A man ten years younger wrote that he enjoys practical work and that he likes to contribute to a good cause. A woman born in 1982 stated that she thinks it is fun to contribute at events and that the Youth Olympic Games is a very big experience to be a part of. Meanwhile, she likes the fact that there is a focus on other things than just performance. Making a contribution can be combined with other motives, as was the case for the woman born in 1975 who described her reason for signing up: “To contribute, new experiences, happening, social.” Many people in Lillehammer can still relate to the 1994 Olympic Games. This is evident in the rationale for contributing in 2016, especially among older adults. A man born in 1948 links the two Olympic events: “If the Youth Olympic Games gets great feedback from the IOC, I have contributed to making the Olympics a success like the Olympics in ’94.” But the younger people also mention the Games in 1994 – the story of “the best Winter Games ever” has been told from generation to generation. A woman born in 1994 says that her mother was a volunteer during the Olympics in ’94 and that she had many positive experiences there. She continues: “Since the Olympics is held this year again, I want to feel the atmosphere and get the experience of helping out with such a huge event.” Another volunteer says something similar: “I was born during the Olympics in ’94, so I thought it was a fun thing to do because I study at Lillehammer anyway.” Volunteers of all ages mention that the Youth Olympic Games is exciting. This woman born in 1991 puts it like this: It’s exciting with such a huge and international event in Norway, and I get the opportunity to use my skills in different languages in the meetings with youngsters and other visitors from all around the world. It’s an excellent opportunity to become acquainted with other volunteers from Norway and other countries, and it’s very exciting to be a part of the team that makes the Youth Olympic Games the (hopefully) best sporting event in Norway since the Olympics in ‘94.

For the youngest people it is also about gaining experience. A woman born in 1989 wrote that the Youth Olympic Games is a unique opportunity to acquire experience that could benefit her in her career. She wrote: “Simultaneously, it will be a great experience to look back on.” Another woman, born in 1992, thinks that it is relevant to her studies (tourism) and thus an advantage to have on her CV. A man born in 1992, a sports studies student also felt that it is relevant work experience. Many of students do not fall into any of the categories. This male student, born in 1997, simply wrote: “My school said that we had to.”

Why do they participate? 

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Profile for Norges idrettshøgskole

Report: Volunteering at the Winter Youth Olympic Games Lillehammer 2016  

Report: Volunteering at the Winter Youth Olympic Games Lillehammer 2016