Freshman Volunteers at Olympics
Mar 11, 2010While her friends and family back home watched the Olympics on television, Kaia Lunde ’13 volunteered with the bobsledders at the Sliding Center in Whistler, British Columbia.
The communication major from Cooperstown, N.D., spent her spring break donning the official bright blue gear of the 2010 Winter Olympics volunteers and having the time of her life. She directed spectators at the Sliding Center, transported athletes, helped at the family lounge and watched as much bobsledding as her limited free time allowed.
“Everyone was so pumped up for their country,” she says. “As volunteers we were not supposed to show favoritism, but we could call out ‘Go USA’ sometimes.”
Lunde says she first thought of volunteering during the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino, Italy. She and a friend decided they’d sign up for 2010. But as the Olympics approached, her friend’s interest waned as Lunde’s grew. During Christmas break she sent in an application, applied for her passport and completed a phone interview.
She was in.
“Then I had to figure out how to get there and where to stay,” Lunde says.
Volunteers were responsible for finding and funding their transportation, accommodations and food. Lunde thanks God for blessing her with the opportunity to stay in a family's suite in Pemberton, just a 30-minute bus ride away. She made stops on her trip to and from Vancouver to visit friends and family, spreading her excitement for the Olympics along the way.
Back on campus, Lunde has continued to spur others’ interest in volunteering for the Olympics. Students and faculty notice her bright blue volunteer coat and hat and can’t help but ask a few questions. She spoke for 20 minutes during a choir rehearsal to a very interested crowd.
“I might try to do the London games,” Lunde says of the 2012 Summer Olympics. “I loved all of the Olympics when I was a kid. It’s really exciting how this worked out.”