Many 2010 volunteers face Olympic-sized commute
Published Thursday, January 28, 2010 8:57PM PST
Some 2010 volunteers are facing an Olympic size commute to their positions because of an accommodation shortage in B.C.’s Sea-to-Sky communities.
Vancouver resident Fiona Scott will be volunteering 10 hours a day at the Whistler Sliding Centre for most of the Games. With a bus ride of two-and-a-half hours each way, Scott will be looking at a five hour commute -- a 15 hour workday.
“It’s a pretty long day,” she said, adding she will be given several days off because of her long workdays.
Scott is part of ‘Club 99,’ a bus service Olympic organizers have created to transport as many as 500 volunteers to Whistler everyday along Highway 99.
Hundreds of the volunteers assigned to Whistler are without a place to stay in the Sea-to-Sky communities.
But Vanoc says it’s not a disappointment.
“It is a reality of the challenges of Whistler,” said Vanoc’s Maureen Douglas.
“A resort takes a lot of people to run. Whether you're working in a coffee shop or hotel, everybody's going full tilt, some of them twenty-four seven.”
Olympic organizers had hoped to overcome accommodation challenges by throwing pajama parties to advertise a home stay program -- and even offering free tickets to Sea-to-Sky residents in exchange for a spare room.
As a result of the efforts, thousands of volunteers at Whistler venues will have a place to stay. As for the hundreds that don’t:
“We are humbled by the amount of commitment, the enthusiasm, the level of dedication the volunteers are giving to this,” said Douglas.
With a report from CTV British Columbia’s Sarah Galashan