Thousands coming together to volunteer at Olympics in London

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Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

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One of the enduring memories of Salt Lake City's Olympics is how so many volunteers came together to help make our games a huge success. That same effort is happening in London.

The London Organizing Committee says they have roughly 70,000 volunteers for these Olympic Games.

They're going to London from all across Great Britain, and they're all trained to be as helpful as possible. And of course, volunteer means that they're not getting paid.

At these Olympics, even in the middle of the crowds, you can't miss them. Their purple and orange shirts just stand out, which is exactly what these volunteers want.

To be honest, I always wanted to be a part of, well, take part in the Olympics.

–Edyta Bogdanowicz, Olympic volunteer

"I've been able to go up to people and talk to them," said Caroline Holworthy, one of the volunteers. She couldn't wait to help. She signed up to be a volunteer two years ago as soon as she graduated school.

London's Olympic Organizing Committee picked her right away because she speaks five languages- French, Spanish, German, Portuguese, and English.

Holworthy works almost every day hoping to make her country's big moment a success.

Another volunteer, Edyta Bogdanowicz works in the press area. It's part of her job to make sure media members get what they need. For her, it's as close to being in the Olympics as she can get.

"To be honest, I always wanted to be a part of, well, take part in the Olympics," Bogdanowicz said. "But I've never been experienced or skilled enough to be an athlete." She came all the way from Poland to live in London and help out.

Then, there's Joanne Holden who was one of the first volunteers. She's been helping since January of 2009, averaging at least one day a week.

"Now, here I am, and I just can't believe it," Holden said. "It's just brilliant."

And even though she's not getting paid, to her it doesn't matter. Not all experiences have a monetary price.

"[The Olympics] are never going to come again to London, this country in my lifetime," she said. "It's very unlikely. And it's such a unique opportunity to get involved."

Those are just three of the 70,000 volunteers' stories. If KSL did a story on three volunteers every day, it would take 64 years to cover all of them. But all of those people are doing it because it's just a change to be part of something pretty big.


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Alex Cabrero


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