It’s people that crown a volunteer’s experience of the Games


Behind the Biathlon World Cup Event in Kontiolahti there is voluntary work of hundreds of volunteers, and indeed, these joyous helpers are a vital part in the success of the Games. You’ll find volunteers in various missions from ticket sales and construction works to assignments at the shooting range.

Marja Suvinen has been actively involved in Kontiolahti Sports Club’s voluntary work for over ten years. She has performed different kinds of tasks in Biathlon competition food service, which takes care of the meals for officials, teams and media.

According to Suvinen the World Cup competitions from a volunteer’s point of view are really memorable events. She has only positive things to say about all those competitions, which she has been involved in during many past years, and that’s what makes her come back as a volunteer year after year.

– One important thing in volunteering is that you get to know knew people there. During the events there are many restaurant service points, so there’s a lot of volunteers and workmates, Suvinen says. In addition to new acquaintances from all over Finland, volunteering allows you to meet also old buddies. Social aspect and team spirit are to Suvinen an important part of volunteer’s experience of the Games.

– From Kontiolahti point of view we have here quite a big amount of active and positive volunteers in action, which is great, Suvinen says with gratitude.

Another important part of Suvinen’s experience of the Games comes from the international character of World Cup events.

– In the Games there are a lot of international athletes and guests, so you can see cultural diversity, Suvinen says. Therefore the most memorable moments during past years link to meetings with international guests.

– Once I came across with a group of Russian quests, whom I greeted. In my own opinion I wished them a very good morning, but they burst into laughter. Then they took me into the middle of their group and started to happily teach me how to say good morning and how do you do, Suvinen recollects with laughter.

Text: Suvi Hannula, photo: Piia Kinnunen