Olympic and Paralympic Project Promotion SectionWaseda University


Student volunteer activities at the PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games (3)

The power of sports through intercommunion

Voice of a participating student

Waseda University sent six student volunteers in February 2018 to the 23rd Winter Olympics held in PyeongChang, South Korea. The students, who received pre-service training in autumn last year and on-site training early February this year, conducted volunteer activities at various venues during the Games held from February 9 until February 25. Ayumi Shoji, a third-year student at the School of Political Science and Economic, who is back from the event, speaks about her experiences there.


Ayumi Shoji, 3rd year at the School of Political Science and Economic, Waseda University

Experiencing the power of sports that promotes international exchange

I want to see the Games with my own eyes

I joined the student volunteering program for the Winter Olympic Games held in PyeongChang, South Korea from February 9 until February 25, 2018. I was into basketball and swimming when I was in junior and senior high school. I love playing sports and watching them. I was interested in international exchange partly because I am studying international relationship. I participated in the program, wishing to be part of the Olympic Games, which promotes sports and international exchange.

I volunteered at the Jeongseon Alpine Centre. Outside the center, I worked as a guide for visitors who go to event sites on a mountain top, and at the information center inside, I took turns to provide tourist guide information and answer questions and inquiries from visitors.

Intercommunion beyond languages and national boarders

I was at the Jeongseon Alpine Centre, where Alpine skiing competitions were held. As I was given an hour of rest after an hour of work, I was able to see athletes skiing toward the finish line. Live games are totally different from on-air games. I was surprised at their skiing speed; they came and went away in a blink.

I was really moved and felt the power of sports when I saw a crowd of spectators cheering wildly for athletes who skied well while cheering up athletes who did their best, irrespective of their nationalities. I was also impressed when I saw the scene where supporters of athletes from different countries that competed were taking pictures together after the games.

I speak little Korean. When on-site directions were given in Korean, other student volunteers kindly translated them into English, so I was able to work smoothly. I think I was able to communicate well with Korean spectators beyond the language barrier; some of the people I helped spoke to me after games and some said to me, “Well done.” A little language with smile and gesture will help build good relationship. I was also glad when visitors from Europe said hello to me in Korean.

There are things that you can experience only through the Games

I want to work in an international environment in the future, so it was a valuable experience in my life moving forward that I was able to experience volunteer activities at the Olympic Games. Students have a lot of time to spare and can have a lot of experiences that might change their perspective. The Olympic Games will provide great opportunities for such experiences. I would like students to participate in volunteer activities for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games if they can. I am looking forward to seeing the Games to enjoy differences between the atmosphere of the PyeongChang Games and that of the Tokyo Games.

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