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Volunteer sets sights on another Olympics

China Daily | Updated: 2021-12-29 08:55
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BEIJING-For Yu Zhongqi, a doctoral student at the School of Public Policy and Management of Tsinghua University, the memory of volunteering for the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008 remains vivid and fresh, prompting him to serve again for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.

"The Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics was held when I was an elementary school student. But watching the competitions on TV was nowhere near enough for me, and I was eager to feel the Olympic atmosphere live," he recalls.

When the Olympic flame was ignited in Beijing for the first time in 2008, Yu was an 11-year-old pupil. He signed up to become an Olympic volunteer, providing translation and consultation services at a volunteer station.

"I just wanted to practice English and introduce China to more foreign friends," Yu says.

In order to achieve this, he prepared detailed English introductions of traditional Chinese culture, including the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, Beijing courtyards and Peking duck.

"Looking back, I feel it's more important to give foreigners a better understanding of the core concepts of Chinese culture," Yu adds.

In his mind, from Welcome to Beijing (a theme song for 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics), to "Together for a Shared Future" (official motto of 2022 Winter Olympics), China is consistent in showing a welcome to the world, and he hopes the world can gain a better understanding of China.

Yu has been selected to volunteer for Beijing 2022 as an Olympic Family Assistant, or OFA, responsible for coordination and communication.

"Being a volunteer at Beijing 2008 was a start for me," Yu says. "I have gained experience of organizing activities at Tsinghua University in recent years. It makes me more aware of the strength of teamwork. Volunteers are never alone, and the OFA is also a big family."

More than 1,000 volunteer stations were in place during the Beijing Olympics. Working in one of them 13 years ago, Yu is dedicating himself to contributing to a "simple, safe and splendid" Olympic Winter Games with fellow volunteers.

"As a dual Olympic city, Beijing is ready. So am I, a dual Olympic volunteer," Yu says.


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