If you were living in or visiting Sydney during the year 2000 Olympic Games it seemed that every second person was wearing this uniform. The colourful and highly visible design could not be mistaken for anything else and was worn proudly by people from all walks of life and all shapes and sizes. It was not uncommon to see whole families (even with teenage children) decked out in their uniforms heading off by train or bus to report for duty.
The Sydney Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (SOCOG) recruited over 40,000 volunteers for Sydney 2000. Called the ‘Games Force’ the volunteers provided many essential services including drivers, parking attendants, translators, crowd control, stage management, team assistants to the athletes and much more. In return volunteers received complimentary transport to and from Sydney 2000 venues, complimentary meals while on duty and a complete Games Force uniform.
Overwhelmingly the volunteers loved the experience and talked about the great camaraderie and fantastic buzz in Sydney at the time. This uniform belonged to Terry Carr. Terry heard about the Games Force volunteer recruitment drive through the Sydney Morning Herald and immediately applied, recalling:
While travelling in Turkey in 1985, I met a woman that had been a volunteer at the Los Angeles Olympic Games. When the Olympics were coming to Sydney, I remembered all the wonderful stories of her experience in LA. I thought that’s gotta be me.
Terry was assigned to the logistics team which involved moving and setting up equipment at the Olympic Stadium. He found the organisation and planning efficient and relaxed and loved the buoyant friendly atmosphere and opportunity to interact with people from all over the world. He likened the experience to being in a behind-the-scenes documentary watching the whole process unfold and actually being part of such a significant event. For Terry the highlight was observing elite athletes training, warming up and relaxing.
Sydneysiders will always remain convinced that Sydney 2000 was ‘the best Olympic Games ever’.
The Powerhouse Museum holds the Sydney 2000 Olympic and Paralympic Games Collection which contains costumes from the opening and closing ceremonies as well as clothing and equipment for athletes, volunteers and officials and a wide range of support material.