UO staffers share their WCH Oregon22 volunteer stories

Signage outside the World Athletics Championships

Employees took time off from their University of Oregon jobs to serve as volunteers and get a behind-the-scenes view of World Athletics Championships Oregon22. Here, some of those employees share their experience with the campus community.

Joyce Maxenchs

Joyce Maxenchs, travel coordinator, Oregon22 finance team volunteer

Brilliant opportunity bestowed upon me to work with a dynamic team from all over the world! All of the Oregon22 crew (including Legend) embodied a constant enthusiastic engagement of friendliness, willing to work together on complex issues, and having the eclectic experience was awe-inspiring. Extraordinary relationships formed from every corner of our globe and reunited in brotherhood and sisterhood all in the name of athletes in Eugene!

Shawna Gilbert

Shawna Gilbert, recruitment consultant, Oregon22 fan experience team lead

I was a lead volunteer with the fan experience team. My primary assignment was in the south information booth, but I also monitored the coaches boxes. The south information booth was the primary location for lost and found. We were able to return items from water bottles to passports and everything in between. While I was volunteering one evening a patron approached the desk looking for a wooden box that was lost during her daughter’s interview after winning a bronze medal in the discus for the United States. The box had not been returned to us, but after talking to five different people, in various locations, I was able to locate a replacement under Hayward Field in less than 30 minutes. She was so happy she hugged me three separate times and asked for a photo of all the volunteers. Valarie Allman's mom was thrilled to say the least. As stressful and hot as it was sometimes, the staff and volunteers continued to find joy and make it a special event for everyone. They all went above and beyond.

James Chang

James Chang, director of duck career network, Oregon22 marathon and race walk venue volunteer

A highlight of my experience was being up close with the athletes and fans; meeting other volunteers from around the world passionate about track and field and Eugene, Oregon! I will always have the memory of the range of my volunteer roles, from staffing the snack station in support of marathon runners and their team to moving heavy steel traffic barriers in the heat of the day (at least I wasn’t part of the team setting these up at 3 am!!!) I also learned how hard the paid staff worked - it was the local contractors and organizing staff who made the WAC organization look so good; we can be really proud of our local workers and professionals who pulled off the first ever WAC on US/North American soil!

Kim Eitner

Kim Eitner, global engagement programs coordinator, Oregon22 bike valet volunteer

I volunteered as part of the Eugene Active 20-30 Club. Our assistance with the bike valet also helped us raise funds to donate to local children's organizations. The impact of Oregon22 will be felt in our club and our community far beyond this week. It was so amazing to have a huge international presence in Eugene. As a global engagement programs coordinator, it was most impactful for me to meet people from the countries we send students to for study abroad! It was also awesome to show the world that we care about sustainable transportation. I loved being able to greet people or say thank you in their native languages. I think I really surprised some of our Japanese visitors!

Angie Towle

Angie Towle, undergraduate coordinator, Oregon22 athlete/crew22 credentialing volunteer

It is always a pleasure to interact with the athletes when they aren't in competition mode. Usually they are relaxed and have just arrived into town. Some of them, straight from the plane with their luggage still in tow! During a mad rush while short on volunteers, the Jamaican team stepped in and helped get us through laminating their teams' credentials. They were so patient and kind and had a good sense of humor about it.

Reporters interviewing runner

Sandee Bybee, HR employee engagement manager, Oregon22 media assistant volunteer

The coolest people come from around the world to work and volunteer at international sporting events. During my time with the media operations team, I made amazing memories and learned so much about the behind-the-scenes action of sports journalism and world athletics competitions.

Kristin Reagan

Kristin Reagan, senior research administrative coordinator, Oregon22 fan services team member volunteer

I was assisting a visitor to find a baby changing table, and while searching suddenly found myself deep inside Hayward Field, where there are training rooms, offices, equipment storage and everything it takes to run a world-scale event. I have a Sports Management background, so I was fascinated by seeing what it took to operate WCH22.

On the first day of the event while standing at the stop of a stairway at Hayward, I turned around and saw a soldier in full camouflage with lieutenant colonel rank, who asked me where a particular section was. As I tried to find an answer for him, he stepped aside to reveal who he was escorting – a brigadier general. As a veteran, I identified myself as such, and we all shook hands. I then flagged down my team lead to ask where their section was. He led them off to the VIP section, where I learned later Kate Brown and the Second Gentleman of the U.S. were waiting for him.

I met some incredible people from all over the world, and worked alongside some dedicated volunteers who shone with the love of the sport of track and field. I had the privilege of witnessing some world records, up close and personal. The energy in the air throughout Hayward Field was tangible throughout the entire ten days.