The Sydney 2000 Games was officially known as the Games of the XXVII Olympiad. Australians will never forget that this international multi-sport event held between 15 September and 1 October 2000 in Sydney, New South Wales was declared by then IOC President Mr Juan Samaranch as "the best games ever".
This week, at the event's 20th year commemoration, is being remembered by thousands of people involved in the event - athletes, officials, volunteers and spectators who relived the wonderful moments they all experienced. The success of the event had been attributed to a great extent to the thousands of volunteers. In fact, there were approximately 40,000 volunteers recruited by the Sydney Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (SOCOG). They were fondly referred to as 'the Games Force', who gave their best in providing many essential services such as drivers, parking attendants, translators, crowd control, stage management, team assistants to the athletes, couriers and many more.
I am one of those reminiscing some involvement in this very memorable event. I was working in the Department of Mineral Resources at the time when employees in the State Public Service were given the opportunity to be "re-assigned", to work in Olympic venues. I opted to work at the Ryde Aquatic Centre which was a short drive from our home in Turramurra. The venue was where Water Polo was held.
When I found out that I was to be in the Information Desk for RTA [Roads & Transport Authority], I thought to myself "oh oh, we'd probably be stoned to death" so to speak, because of transport complaints. I was pleasantly surprised that the shuttling of spectators from the train station to the venue and back, worked effectively and seamlessly. The total operation was very impressive. There was a happy atmosphere everyday and the camaraderie between the volunteers, officials as well as the athletes was very uplifting.
If given another opportunity, I'd do it all over again. Having said that, buoyed by the experience, I volunteered to be in the Media section for the World Youth Day 2008. Who knows, we may be hosting another Olympic Games in Australia one day!
The Australian Filipina is glad to share fond recollections by a few volunteers from the Fil-Aus community. We have the Dingle family represented by Emily, Rod and Danny; Cris Corpus, Teza Dizon, Pedro Marasigan and Evelyn Redimerio.
I am Cris Corpus, from Hurlstone Park, NSW. I was born in Sampaloc, Manila. My maiden name is Crisanta Guevarra, and studied at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP). I worked with Qantas Airways Ltd. in Sydney and UNSW before retiring in 2015.
I was one of the Fleet Dispatch Officers at ORTA (Olympic Roads and Traffic Authority) based at the SOCOG HQ in Broadway. Our team was responsible for allocating transport to athletes and staff.
I enjoyed most interacting with guests, staff, athletes, and the general public. Our motto was - do the best you can. The atmosphere was eclectic - happy and I am proud to be a part of the historic event. There was only one minor problem our team encountered - one of the vans was late due to an accident, which was not relayed to HQ earlier. With modern technology, this problem would no longer exist.
I will definitely raise my hand again to be a volunteer, as long as I am physically capable to do the tasks at hand.
My involvement with the 2000 Sydney Olympics began when I became a member of the Selection Team that interviewed volunteer applicants. The interest to be a volunteer was so high that it was difficult to choose. In the end, more than 70,000 volunteers were selected, the biggest number of volunteers in the history of the Games.
I then became a Marshall for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies. My permit allowed me to go into the showground where I came to observe many top athletes. I was also able to access the work areas where the gigantic props for the opening ceremonies were kept.
The highlight was the lighting of the Flame. I saw Cathy Freeman march in with the Australian athletes. She disappeared, then reappeared in her suit ready for her run to light the Flame. It was an Olympics that I cannot forget for I was part, in my humble way, to make it a huge success.
I was born in Manila but my parents were from Cavite and Ilocos Sur. I now reside in Enfield. My tasks was to issue uniforms at Redfern.
I enjoyed meeting my co- workers, other volunteers and officials. The atmosphere was incredible- so much anticipation and goodwill around and the opportunity to watch some of the events especially the Closing Ceremony. I don’t remember any difficulties. It got crowded but that was part of the whole event.
I will definitely do it all again. It is an incredible memory and am thankful to be part of the success of Sydney 2000!
Rod Dingle Komitiyage
I am residing in Blacktown, NSW and originally from Pozorrubio, Pangasinan.
I was an Athletes' Marshall. We marshalled the Athletes for the Grand Opening Ceremonies and then the Closing Ceremonies! Basically I was face to face with the athletes, including those from the Philippines! I remember meeting Matt Shirvington then the Golden Boy of Australian Sprint! And many of the American A Grade Athletes like Marion Jones, Maurice Green, Michael Johnson to name a few! Who'd forget the Thorpedo? Cathy Freeman in that epic run! I saw it all live!
I enjoyed interacting with so many people from around the world including East Timor and lesser known countries like Wallis and Fortuna. I had a collection of Olympic pins from around the world! We exchanged with others!! I'll do it again if opportunity allows! It was a great and unforgettable experience
I was born in Manila but grew up in Las Pinas. I migrated here in 1992 with my young family. We live in the suburb of Pemulwuy.
Wow! Twenty years already but it seems that it was only a few years back. I can still remember that scene of pandemonium amongst the Australian delegates when Sydney was announced as the winning bid to host the XXVII Summer Olympic. I was so excited when I was selected as one of the volunteers.
I was a fleet driver and was based at Sydney Olympic Park. My job was to pick up and drop off athletes and officials from The Athlete's Village to different game venues. I felt a different kind of atmosphere and the spirit of unity and camaraderie was so electrifying and infectious among the people of Sydney. I was thankful that aside from being a volunteer, which was a reward on its own, I was able to see the Closing Ceremony.
I will never forget this once in a lifetime experience and just like the rest of the 50,000 volunteers, my name is etched in the annals of Olympic history.
I was born and raised in Manila and migrated to Australia when I was still single in 1976 as Evelyn de la Pena and went back to Manila after nine months to marry my boyfriend of five years to become Evelyn Redimerio. We have been living in the North West of Sydney in Carlingford for thirty three years now.
I was working at the NSW Police during that time when I applied to be a volunteer during the Sydney Olympics 2000. My application was accepted and was assigned at the Sydney Entertainent Centre in Darling Harbour in Security, to make sure that the games venue, the athletes as well as the people watching the games have the utmost security that Sydney can offer. We were trained and briefed concerning security.
I totally enjoyed my work at the Olympic Games. The camaraderie amongst each volunteer was beyond compare. We were like brothers and sister, just like one big family in a big complex. On the other hand, there will always be difficulties encountered in every situation. We all know people all over the world will came to Sydney to watch the games,as what I encountered when a group of Russians who want to bring in their beer and glass bottles soft drinks which were prohibited to be taken in the venue. They were so agitated that they couldn't bring those in, but due to language barrier they couldn’t understand me. I had to search for someone among my colleagues who speaks Russian and when I found one and the situation was explained to them, the problem was solved. How I wish interpreters were provided in every entry point to avoid chaos.
Yes I will wholeheartedly volunteer again if asked. As long as am still strong and healthy.
Emily Dingle Rudd
I am a Retired Teacher from Gosford, NSW. I am also formerly from Pozorrubio, Pangasinan, Philippines. At the 2000 Sydney Olympics, I was assigned at Sydney Entertainment Centre which was the venue for the Ladies Volley Ball games.
I enjoyed watching the different games when not on duty. I was inspired by men and women athletes who came to Sydney to celebrate the 2000 Games. I loved the Opening and Closing ceremonies with the attendance of students including our daughter Elizabeth.
I am proud to be there as volunteer for 16 days. Meeting people from around the world was great. The daily train trips to Sydney was a pleasure for me with so many of us sharing happy stories of newly found friends. I'd Like to bring my experience to volunteer in Japan 2021, if I could. Mabuhay! Long live!