I’m sitting at the airport waiting for my first flight. I don’t know neither how nor what I’m feeling. My brain froze and refuses to talk to me. I feel in denial. It’s like being stuck between two worlds. I keep looking at people faces here around, sometimes at my phone. I am absent-minded. I feel that my face doesn’t show any expression. Airports make you think about your life, about who you are, where you are and why. I was tired. I slept seven hours only the last three days. Trying to control my thoughts and manage my scrambled feelings, I tried to visualize all what I’ve been through and then decided to pull out my laptop and start writing.
My journey in Brazil is over. I came here two months ago to live the Olympic Paralympic Games from the inside. A long sequence of all marking events has been gathering in my head and kept playing in an endless loop. I still remember the first day as if it was yesterday, each minute. I still remember very well the training day and the first day in the village. I still feel the motivation other volunteers and me had as it was happening now. I still remember how we discovered the Olympic Village, how we saw it with our own eyes after having heard and read about it for months thanks to the online training we had been offered. I still remember the first contact I had with the delegations. I still remember the huge efforts of hundreds of people to make the Opening Ceremony happen. I still remember the first competitions day, the first visit to the Olympic Stadium, the first time I saw the Olympic Park and I still also remember how sad it felt, seeing the athletes leave after the games and how sad it felt seeing the village almost empty of people, after it had been full of life, energy and positivity for weeks. One of the worst feelings ever…
It is so hard to try to describe the last days. There was not much concrete work to do in the village however I kept going there anyway. It was just me unconsciously trying to enjoy as much as possible being in that magic place during my last days. I planned to have the last three days off and buy some gifts for friends and family and also travel around but I never made it. Each day I said to myself this is my last day here in the village, and each day I wake up with an unexplainable will to go there as soon as possible. I guess I became addicted to that place. It had a mysterious energy which pulls you there. I usually start to feel nostalgic about things too soon. I started thinking about the end more than one week ago. But it’s only when it’s all over, that I really realize what you have done and how great those people are, people whom I had the chance to know during my stay.
I had two months full of challenges, a lot of fun and I lived so many special moments. I got to know awesome people, people who came from all over the world to help and be part of a huge event without expecting anything in return. The fact that we all combined our efforts, that we shared the same dream and that we wanted to reach the same goal made us feel like a family. Living in such a harmonious atmosphere made us become close friends and built a hidden, but strong link between all of us.
I will never be grateful enough for being part of you guys. What we have lived and shared together all this time will stay alive in my mind, forever. I will never forget our moments of happiness, of sadness, of relief, of stress, of frustration of fun or of craziness. Each one of us has a story to tell, an experience to share and to learn from and each one of us was special. Being with you all this period changed my way of thinking, my mindset and my life. Let’s stay connected, let’s keep united, until we see each other again in South Korea or in Tokyo!
Brazil, Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games: THANK YOU for this unique experience, THANK YOU giving me a new birth. THANK YOU for this smooth brainwash. I really needed it. I can see my life better now. I was drowning in the dirt of the routine. I now feel clean and ready. We took long-lasting doses of positivity, of motivation, of energy. So let’s use them to plan our next life step and prepare and plan for a better future.