The heroes helping the stars shine

By XU HAOYU in Hangzhou | China Daily | Updated: 2023-10-08 07:39
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From volunteers, match officials, cheerleaders, community workers and cleaners, to ball retrievers and medics, the 19th Asian Games, which come to a close on Sunday, have witnessed the great contribution of people from all walks of life and across various sectors. Their hard work and effort have helped ensure the Games' success. Photos by ANDY CHONG/ZHANG WEI/WEI XIAOHAO/GAO ERQIANG/CHINA DAILY/LIAO ZUPING/FOR CHINA DAILY/YIN LIQIN/CHINA NEWS SERVICE

Unsung frontline workers share their Asian Games experiences

Saturday afternoon at the Main Media Centre, six frontline workers of the Hangzhou Asian Games were invited to talk about their work experience during the event.

The spotlight may not shine as brightly on them as it does on the competitors in the arena, but most of them have been offering support and help to the 12,000 athletes, nearly 5,000 technical officials and thousands of media personnel, making their own extraordinary contributions to the Games.

At the conference, Asiad Daily's very own Shi Futian, a sports reporter and new media personality at English-language newspaper China Daily, shared the inspiration he has drawn from people he has interviewed, including Uzbekistan's artistic gymnast Oksana Chusovitina and Chinese swimmer Wang Shun.

"I feel very lucky to participate in such a huge event as a journalist," he said. "I also hope that through our media coverage, more people will get to know the athletes and understand their stories."

Lyu Shuyi, a security staff member at Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport, has been responsible for the protection of rifle and pistol ammunition for events such as shooting and modern pentathlon. As of Friday, the security team had ensured the safety of ammunition in 139 batches, not a single piece was lost or damaged.

"Due to the varied gun control policies in different countries, we worried that athletes might not understand the local rules. However, those concerns were alleviated when everyone showed understanding and cooperation."

Hu Chuangang is the catering manager of the dining hall that serves meals to athletes and officials.

"I have collected over 30 pins from different countries and regions, most of which I received as gifts from athletes and officials in acknowledgement of our catering services," Hu proudly said.

As a waste disposal and cleaning operative, Yu Dingding checks the sanitation and cleanliness of the sports venue, including the stands, seats, restrooms, aisles and peripheral roads.

"Our job is to prepare a clean venue before the audience arrives," he said.

Lu Baolin has been driving the shuttle bus from the Athletes Village to the golf venue since Sept 22.

"I wake up every day at 2:00 am, set off at 4:30 am, drive more than 30 kilometers to take athletes to the competition venue, and then return to the Asian Games Village. Each round trip takes almost two hours, and on each competition day, I make the journey three times," Lu said.

His son is also involved in the Games, providing security services in the Linping district of Hangzhou. Due to their work commitments, they hardly see each other these days. On the Mid-Autumn Festival, the family spent over an hour chatting via video call, celebrating the festival together online.

Li Guanlin is a volunteer at the Basketball Arena in Shaoxing Olympic Sports Centre Gymnasium, and his job is to ensure that the court is free from debris, sweat stains and watermarks, and to ensure the smooth progress of the matches by helping prevent athletes from slipping and avoiding any unnecessary injuries.

"Upon learning the importance of our job, we conducted a lot of training and practice sessions. We are surprised and very honored that people pay attention to, and show an interest in, our work," Li said.

"When I am on duty at the court, my family will look for me during the live broadcast. They told me that seeing me busily working makes them realize how much I've grown up."

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