Elena Agathocleous from Limassol is the only Cypriot volunteer in the Rio 2016 Olympics, selected from among over 200,000 people who had applied from 191 countries.
Agathocleous is part of the “Timing and Scoring Team” for cycling events, arrived in Brazil on the 7th of August and will stay in the country until August 20, according to Cyprus Sport Writers Union correspondent Erodotos Miltiadous.
She was selected as a volunteer from a total of 242,757 people from 191 countries. “I applied to become a volunteer when the procedure started two years ago. Last November I received a positive reply,” she said.
From then she embarked on a campaign to raise funds for her trip.
Agathocleous` travel and accommodation expenses come to €3,200 and she has started a crowdfunding campaign which has so far raised 30 per cent of her target in pledges. Her campaign will be open for donations until the Olympic Games close. “I hope I can cover a large part of my expenses,” said Agathocleous, who is unemployed. So far she spent her own money on the trip.
“To begin with I was thinking that it wouldn’t be a good idea to spend by savings, given that I am out of work,” she said but added that “it was something I wanted very much to experience.”
This was the very first time Agathocleous travelled outside of Europe, she stays at an Airbnb accommodation and it is also the first time she has gone to the Olympics.
“I try to promote Cyprus. I tell people I meet about our country. There are many people who have not heard of Cyprus, so I talk to them about my home country,” she said.
Agathocleous, who only recently became unemployed, has studied mechanical engineering and holds a Master’s degree in energy and sustainability.
“I am looking for a job but at the same time I am also thinking of leaving Cyprus if I don`t find something there,” she said.
For the time being however, the young Cypriot is focused on her Olympics volunteering task.
“I like the volunteering work I do very much. You are so close to the athletes and you are part of the final result at the Olympics Games. It is exciting,” she added.
To support Elena`s volunteering effort people can visit https://www.generosity.com/volunteer-fundraising/supportelena-volunteer-in-olympic-games-rio-2016–2