Roar Viken says it - and we couldn't agree more!
Every year, a dedicated group of volunteers come together behind the scenes to ensure the events run smoothly. We spoke to Roar Viken, the range manager for the Biathlon World Cup, to find out what makes volunteering at Holmenkollen so special and rewarding.
Roar started as a volunteer as early as 2011, where he began at the shooting range by first "writing" and costing mats, before becoming deputy manager from 2013, until he is now the range manager and part of the race committee for the World Cup Biathlon in "Kollen"
For info: Each shooting target has a "printer" that manually records how many hits/booms each athlete gets each time they come to the shooting range.
What have you been most surprised by during your time as a volunteer in Holmenkollen?
"What is unexpected for me was that I eventually took an IBU referee course (international referee course). I wasn't quite there when I started, but eventually I wanted, and was given, more responsibility. And to have the role I have today as head of the shooting range team with all the equipment and safety, it's a requirement from the IBU and I had to take it."
What keeps you coming back to volunteer at "Kollen" year after year?
"Seeing all the happy and positive people involved and helping out is fantastic, and the electric atmosphere in the stands among the audience inspires and makes me proud."
Roar emphasizes the unique community that develops over time among the volunteers. Meeting the same people year after year creates strong bonds and a unique friendship and camaraderie that makes the work meaningful. It's also rewarding to see so much joy and good vibes in the stadium.
Which task have you found most demanding and challenging as a volunteer?
"In 2016, the biathlon world championships were held here. We were here for 14 days and it was of course a big and important event. There were many long days, from six o'clock in the morning to eight or nine in the evening, there was a lot to do all the time. So it eventually becomes quite exhausting , with two and a half weeks in a hotel with preparations, implementation and rigging up/down. But of course it was great fun, and a good bunch of volunteers pulling in the same direction - so it went well!" - says Roar, and looks back on that time with a sense of learning and mastery.
Which characteristic would you say is most important to you as a range and stand manager in the World Cup?
In addition to the experienced and well-known volunteers in the group, many are newcomers with no experience and need advice and training. Roar emphasizes that keeping calm under pressure is a crucial quality as a leader during such large sports events.
"I'ma pretty calm person. I don't get stressed out and fly around and shout at people. It's good to speak nicely and respectfully to each other, and if someone gets stressed, it's important to stay calm and work together to solve any challenges."
As with the other section managers, the role also requires quick assessment and decision-making skills, and the concentration to handle varied tasks.
Just sign up as a volunteer!
"There's nothingdangerous about being a volunteer here at "Kollen". It's really simple tasks, and you get guidance all the time - so there's no hocus-pocus sitting on the shooting range; it can be, for example, watching a target during a race and writing one miss, or two misses, or counting the number of shots. So it's nothing dangerous. And it's not the end of the world if you make a mistake. Next time you'll do better."
Roar assures anyone considering joining the volunteer team:
The tasks are not difficult!
Guidance is available!
Everyone can contribute in some way!
Are you ready to try your hand as a volunteer and be part of this unique community?
Sign up as a volunteer in Holmenkollen!