Written by Thomas Janz
While there will not be any ice hockey played at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the Elmira Jackals will be represented by our very own, Dr. Tim Hession, who will be a volunteer at the upcoming Olympic Games and Paralympic Games, respectively. Shortly after becoming the Head Athletic Trainer of the Jackals, in the summer of 2014, Dr. Tim began to research how to get involved with the Olympics through a simple Google search. He “wanted to challenge himself to pursue his dreams, goals, and aspirations using his athletic training abilities and personal development”. After his initial research, Tim discovered that initial applications were due in September, 2014. And with that, a nearly two-year journey to the Olympics began.
Along with the initial application, Tim had to complete various exercises before even being considered for a volunteer position. One of the most interesting courses was an Olympics Dynamics course, which outlined why the Olympics exist, and took Tim through a few different situations he might encounter as a volunteer. After completing this part of the process, Tim felt assured that volunteering in Brazil would “broaden his horizons and allow him to become more culturally diverse”.
A year after the initial application was due, Dr. Hession completed an online interview, along with eleven other applicants from around the world. They learned additional details about the volunteer process, and completed several team-building exercises, including answering the hypothetical question of ‘what should the motto of the next Olympics be?’, if there was not already a motto. It was a great experience, which gave Tim a brief taste of what working with people from around the globe would be like in an uncontrolled environment.
Finally, on Thanksgiving Day, 2015, Tim received his Letter of Acceptance. A couple months later, Dr. Hession received his formal invitation to work as a member of the Transport Team at both the Olympic Games and the Paralympic Games. He will be working at least ten days during each of the events, which, in their entirety, run from August 5, until September 18, with a couple weeks separating the two. To the best of Tim’s knowledge, he “will be directing traffic in the main part of Rio, helping athletes and visitors get from one part of the city to another, and from venue to venue”.
Within the past month, Dr. Tim has begun to complete various online training modules, which have familiarized him with the Portuguese language, customer service policies of the Olympics, and the layout of the Olympic Village, and surrounding areas. As his excitement builds with the Olympics drawing ever closer, Tim felt that volunteering would be “a way for him to give back to the athletic community, while helping athletes reach their goals and dreams”. The Elmira Jackals would like to congratulate Tim for all he has accomplished so far, and wish him the very best experience possible at the Olympics, and Paralympics, this summer, in Rio.