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Russian volunteer raring for Games to begin

China Daily | Updated: 2022-01-21 09:11
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For 19-year-old Russian student Yulia Temelidi, the Beijing Winter Olympics are an exciting "adventure" that will be a combination of work and play.

"Skiing and snowboarding are my favorite sports. I'm really interested in winter sports and it's going to be an honor to take part in this huge event," the Tsinghua University sophomore said.

Having watched Olympic opening and closing ceremonies on TV in the past, Yulia is excited to finally be directly involved herself. "This time, I can be a part of it," she said.

Fluent in Chinese, English and Russian, Yulia will work as a translator during the opening and the closing ceremonies of the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.

In 2012, Yulia came to China for the first time with her Chinese mother. Since then, she has lived in the country and mastered the Chinese language.

"Becoming a Winter Olympic volunteer, you have to practice a lot, different kinds of professional knowledge and other stuff. Tsinghua University is supporting us a lot," Yulia said.

"We practice on Saturdays and Sundays and even in the evenings, so we don't have to skip classes."

COVID-19 prevention measures are incorporated into the volunteer training. Yulia and her peers have attended lectures on how to wear masks properly, social-distancing rules, and vaccination measures.

"My parents were worried about COVID-19. But through training, I feel really safe. They are now proud and excited, rather than worried,"Yulia said.

Although Beijing has reported a number of new COVID-19 cases in recent days, Yulia remains confident in the prevention measures in place for the Winter Games.

Yulia has frequented the slopes of Nanshan ski resort thanks to its proximity to downtown Beijing.

"When I went to Nanshan a year ago, there were a lot of Chinese people skiing there," Yulia said.

She is also looking forward to watching the action at Beijing 2022, with a number of Chinese Olympians catching her attention. "I think short-track skater Wu Dajing is really impressive. He won a gold medal at Pyeongchang 2018," she said.

Having completed several months of comprehensive preparations, Yulia feels that she is now ready for the Games, adding: "I hope they are a huge success."


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