"In life, experiences matter more than money and gold"

50 years later - 1972 volunteer back on board for Munich 2022

Tuesday, 6 October 2020. The Local Organising Committee of the European Championships Munich 2022 has been in action for almost a year now, planning the biggest sports event since the 1972 Olympic Games. Numerous emails reach the office in Olympiapark, but on this day, one in particular stands out from the crowd. The sender: Walter Heiss.

"I congratulate the City of Munich on winning the bid to host the European Championship 2022. Since I was assigned as a VIP usher at the Olympic Regatta Course for three weeks in 1972, I hereby apply for a comparable task at this event," it says in the opening lines. Photographs are included as evidence: one from the summer of 1972 and two from the anniversary celebration in 2012. The uniform still fits, he adds.

"We got in touch and through this email correspondence I also offered to show up again in the original uniform from '72. Of course, I wanted to become a bit more interesting," he recalls.

He succeeded in doing so. His email sparked enthusiasm and anticipation for the volunteer programme. Seven months before the start of registration, the first volunteer had been found. An impressive personality, too. The industrial engineer is now retired - but, by his own words, spry - and has assured his place in the volunteer team for Munich 2022. His workplace remains the same: the Olympic Regatta Centre in Oberschleißheim.

The 1972 Olympic Games have left a legacy not only in terms of their sites. Munich 2022 is a reminiscence and innovative return to the Olympic roots; extraordinary experiences and performances are united under the roof of Olympiapark and create - as the organisers aspire - unforgettable moments of happiness that will be remembered for years to come.

From royalty to rowing eight

For Heiss, these very memories and encounters are the inspiration for him to be part of a major multi-sport event again 50 years later. The Prince and Princess of Monaco as well as the entertaining bus rides with the New Zealand rowing eight have particularly stuck in his mind from back then. There is still plenty of room for further experiences.

"When someone applies to be a volunteer, it's not about material things. Life is made of more than just money and gold, it's made up of so many experiences," the 70-year-old explains. "The older you get, the more you learn to cherish these experiences. They become more and more valuable."

In August 2022, Heiss will put on a new uniform and gather new experiences. No doubt he will cut a fine figure again. The photographic proof shall follow.

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Those interested in joining Heiss can do so by 31 August 2021 and register as a volunteer for the European Championships Munich 2022. All further information on the volunteer roles and registration process can be found here.


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