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Games bring back fond memories

Denice Purcell with her Sydney Olympics volunteer gear. Photo: Blainey Woodham / Daily News
Denice Purcell with her Sydney Olympics volunteer gear. Photo: Blainey Woodham / Daily News Blainey Woodham

WHEN Banora Point's Denice Purcell watched the London Games she was overwhelmed by feelings of nostalgia and couldn't shake the memories of her time working as a volunteer for the Sydney games in 2000.

Ms Purcell said as soon as she heard Sydney Olympic Games organisers were looking for volunteers she simply had to sign up.

"I really like helping people and meeting foreigners, they're really interesting," Ms Purcell said.

As Spectator Services Host, Ms Purcell was located outside the train station at Olympic Park during the 2000 games and helped visitors find the right venues.

"I've got very vivid memories of the event, it only seems like last year."

As one of the up to 45,000 official volunteers, Ms Purcell received a uniform as well as a number of memorabilia and was offered large sums of money to part with some of her gear.

"I was offered up to $1000 for the uniform alone," Ms Purcell said.

Wearing the uniform made her feel really proud and resulted in numerous people coming up to her in the street and starting conversations.

"People came up and talked to me as if they'd known me for ages."

Ms Purcell said one of the best things of the Sydney games was the offer of a ticket to the closing ceremony.

"There weren't enough tickets for all the volunteers but after queuing up for ages, I was lucky to get one of the last ones," Ms Purcell said.

"It was like winning the lottery."

Ms Purcell felt the Sydney games were the best ever and proudly displayed a t-shirt she received with the words "the most dedicated and wonderful volunteers ever", signed by Juan Antonio Samaranch.

Topics:  denice purcell, london, sydney olympic games, volunteer


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