In-between enjoying the sightseeing, culture intake and nightlife Beijing has to offer, I’ve been training to be a volunteer for the Olympics. It’s been a long process to get here, but since landing on the Far East’s soil, it’s been smooth sailing for the most part. I’ve been assigned as a mixed zone assistant for the main baseball field at the Wukesong Center which isn’t brain surgery by any means. Wukesong is home to the basketball arena and three baseball fields, the practice field, field 2 and the main field. I’ll be working at the main field. The mixed zone is the area in which reporters cram after games in hopes of getting a good interview with an athlete. My role will be to set up the temporary mixed zone after games and ensure that the reports stay in their designated area and abide by all the rules laid out for them, like only 1 minute interviews are allowed. I’ll be working the night games if you want to try and spot me on tv!
The coolest part of my job is that by working at the main field, I’ll get to see all of the good baseball games. Additionally my post is right beside the dugout so I’ll be within an arm’s reach of the players as they walk past onto their press conference.
Just yesterday there was a rehearsal for the medal ceremony at the main field. Volunteers appeared out of nowhere to pose as the winning baseball teams as other volunteers acted out being fans. For the record, in this practice, Cuba won and the US placed second! I hope the games play out in a more favorable outcome for the US.
I work on a team of 4 to set up and supervise the mixed zone of which I’m the only non-Chinese teammate. My teammates are awesome and show over-the-top kindness towards me. The only frustrating aspect is when they get flushed setting up the mixed zone and revert to only speaking Mandarin. I have to ask what’s going on so I’m not clueless out in left field. It’s weird to not be aware of the situation in its entirety and only being told the minimal information required to carry out my task. This experience is definitely a learning one on many levels and I’m soaking it up as much as I can.
This is an extremely exciting year for baseball since it’s been voted out of the Olympics for the next Games that will be held in London. It puts more pressure on the United States to succeed. This brings me to the hardest part of my job. It will take every ounce of my will not to show any favoritism towards the US team while working. Even seeing the States’ flag raise during rehearsal, patriotism swelled up under my skin.
I hear there’s going to be Cracker Jack’s available to purchase during the games. You can be sure, underneath my concealed expression I’ll be thinking: Let me root, root, root for my team!