Here are my pins. Raymond has quite a few of the same ones so I won't bother putting his here too.
Here is what the medals look like from the Paralympics that we received also from the Olympics as part of our "thank you" gifts. We each received one for the Olympics and one for the Paralympics. So between the watches (see down below), the medals and all the clothes, we figure we were more than paid for our time as volunteers. Plus that, we have wonderful memories and memorabilia of the Olympics!
Thanks for listening to my ramblings. I could have written a lot more but at least what you have here should let you get a pretty good glimpse of the Olympics, well, at least our point of view from Soldier Hollow!
The following are my spiritual feelings about the Olympic/Paralympic experiences.
Who Was in Charge?
The Olympics are over; friends, family and visitors have gone home. We sit and contemplate the happenings of the past six weeks thinking a myriad of thoughts about just everything imaginable in our minds. We reflect on the feelings we have had and the circumstances that we have lived through; the people we have met and the things we have seen and felt.
How can anyone deny that there wasn't a stronger power than any human being leading the orchestra of the events? We needed to have good snow for the athletes to compete on. We got it. We needed to have everyone feel good about what was happening and to show those feelings to our guests. We got it. We needed to have our guests be glad that they were here and not be frightened. We also got that.
Every day that we went to Soldier Hollow for our volunteer assignment, we felt Heavenly Father's presence. I have had some physical problems over the past few years with it escalating this past year. We had daily prayer that asked that I please stay well enough to complete my responsibilities as this was something we both really wanted to be a part of. We needed to have physical stamina for the hours that would be involved and the things expected of us. Our bodies have never had to get up in the middle of the night and then drive an hour to get where we were going and then put in a days work. I had gotten into the habit of sleeping until I wanted to, as Raymond works evenings. He, too, had to go through many changes in order to switch his body's schedule over so that he could function. We both did fine.
We were tired but yet, we both found that inner strength to keep going and everything was okay. We both knew that it wasn't our doing, and we silently gave thanks constantly throughout the day for those blessings. Our eating schedule was completely different as was our sleeping, and our type of food was drastically changed from what we were used to. Just about all of what our life was, during this time, alien to our normal daily routine, but none of it affected us in any way.
We both knew we were exhausted and felt it at times, but it passed quickly and we could keep going. The cold weather should have been a problem, but it wasn't. Many of the athletes that we came in contact with, always had wonderful things to say about where they were and what they saw. This one athlete came in the first day, and just stood by the door and said, "Wow". He kept saying it and when asked why the wow's, he said that he had never seen any place so beautiful. He commented that some of the other areas he competed in, had dirty snow, dirty air and weather that wasn't very pleasant at times but here. . . . he just couldn't believe it.
Yes, there were glitches along the way, but so minor that they were corrected without any concerns and no one was the wiser. Mixing people up from different areas usually would mean a time of adjustment on both sides in the way of personalities, what was expected of them and so on. But that didn't happen, Every one seemed to be one big family all there for a reunion and on their best behaviors. Different religious beliefs didn't seem to matter either, with most of the people in our area, being LDS was the minority. We had people in our office from different countries and areas across the United States that came to be a part of what was happening and if anyone had to adjust, it didn't show.
Huge crowds, but again, they all seemed like one big happy family. Hooting and hollering, dancing, waving flags. Crowds so large and packed tight in some areas, that to even get one more person in, you would have had to use a shoe horn. Did it seem to matter? No. Even the feel of the air and situations around you, were different. A calming, peaceful feeling. God was certainly in charge of these past events for the Olympics and Paralympics. Yes, they came to the tops of the mountains, from every corner of the earth and it was good. We saw what can happen when He is in charge. May we never forget those feelings.