Olivia Margain – I Volunteer Because... "I Want to Be a Better Person!"

This story is supported by the Erasmus+ Sport Programme of the European Union.

We are exited to introduce our friends and dedicated global Volunteers. By dedicating their time, energy, and expertise, they will help make a positive impact on the lives of many people.

"I Volunteer Because..." is a series of blog posts that introduces our SCULT Awards “Volunteer of the Year” nominents. The nominents have filled out questionnaires that ask important questions, such as, “What has volunteering given to You?” We hope their answers and experiences inspire you to get involved with Sport Volunteering and SCULT Movement.

Today we introduce Olivia Margain, whose amount of passion for sports is outstanding. She started her volunteer journey at the IPC World Championships of Athletics in France, and has since helped organise various prominent sport events across the globe. She told us her experience at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics was a life-changer.  Keep reading and let her story inspire you! :)

With the all-around medalists of rhythmic gymnastics, Baku, 1st European Games

Why are you a sports volunteer, what motivates you?

I have been a huge fan of sports since I was 10 – following sport on TV, being there at the events and being next to the athletes, the officials and so on...

My first volunteering experience was in France for the IPC World Championships of Athletics. It took place in my home city in the summer, so as I didn’t have any plans, I decided to take part in this adventure and applied to volunteer. 

Throughout the 2 weeks, I worked for the protocol team. I was part of the medal ceremonies as a hostess. After 2 days, I got a new position. Another girl and I were suddenly responsible for all the hostesses. I really enjoyed my job! I was at the center of this event. I was able to have a look behind the scenes of such an important event and really liked it! Fitting into place at a big sports event felt amazing! Being useful for the community as a whole is what's most important to me.

Not one sports competition at such level could be done without volunteers.

With all the hostesses from the medal ceremonies

What was the Event that gave you the boost to continue volunteering?

Being a volunteer for the Winter Olympics in Sochi in 2014 changed my life. I spent about 3 months in Russia and met a bunch of fascinating people. Even though I had to travel around 5 hours per day to get to work and back, I would do it all over again without any regret! Working for The Games was amazing. As international volunteers, (2000 out of the 25,000 volunteers) we were incredibly well-treated. The nature of our tasks gave us a chance to work very close to the athletes and be very helpful to them.

The people I met, the other volunteers, were wonderful human beings. We shared an apartement with two Canadians and an Australian. Next door lived a Mexican girl (who has now become one of my best friends – we’ve been volunteering together after it in Egypt, and also in Rio for the Olympic Games). It was a highly rewarding journey.

It’s not only about the event itself, it is also, and mainly, a human adventure!

With some Brazilian athletes in Sochi

What is your next volunteering challenge?

I don't have any idea for my next volunteering experience. It always comes to my mind at the last moment! :)

Why have you chosen the field of sports for Volunteering?

I love sports. I have been an athlete since I was 10. Today, I am the head coach of a rhythmic gymnastics club. I just love sports in general and have worked in this field for 4 years now.

What has volunteering given you?

It has changed me for the better. Meeting hundreds of people from all over the world of many ages and nationalities... It has helped me to better understand our World, to be a better person in general.

What would you like to say to people who are not volunteering yet?

Just give it a go, and you’ll see the benefits it gives you! Your actions will help an event to succeed, but they will also bring magic to your life, and very strong connections with people!

In Rio de Janeiro, during the Paralympic Games

Your Volunteering experiences (list of Events)?

This blog post was written as part of the Erasmus+ Sport Project "Internationalization of the Sport Volunteers Movement SCULT.com", co-funded by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union.