Xiao Xu was a freshman at Beijing Sport University when she applied to become a volunteer of the International Softball Federation (ISF) XI Women's Fast Pitch World Championship in 2006.
"It is of great fortune for me to become a softball volunteer, especially a flash quote journalist at the championship's press center." Xiao said in a gentle tone.
Indeed, she was lucky since her birthday falls on August 8, a coincidence with the opening date of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.
By the time the championship started, she was still a little girl under age 18. And she did cry once, not because she was scared of any difficulties, but all for the sake of homesickness.
On July 31, 2006, a rainstorm poured into the stadium in the middle of a competition and interrupted the attention of the volunteers who were watching on the stand. The rain attracted her wandering eyes as the game paused, and she started to miss her family, the green grass, and all sort of things connected with her hometown. Tears fell quietly from her eyes along the cheek down to the ground. And she knew she was homesick.
But other than the episode, she was a happy girl who more often wore a big smile on her face.
And when it came to work, she was 100 percent serious as the others were. Before the championship kicked off, she spent a lot of time reading, memorizing and understanding the data and reports to absorb useful information.
During the championship, "we must have the press release ready within half an hour after each match. And there are eight matches at two courts every day!"
Once Xiao had any spare time, she would sit together with the rest of the team and exchange helpful tips for interviews.
She said she felt happy and satisfied. "I will always remember the summer of 2006 that belongs to women's softball and us."
As to the Beijing 2008 Olympic and Paralympic Games, Xiao has not only applied for herself to join the volunteer program, but also encouraged her family and friends to do so.