Claire from King’s Lynn reflects on World Cup adventure ahead of final
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As Sunday's final draws near, a King's Lynn volunteer has reflected on her south American adventure.
Claire Jermany, 23, has been in Rio de Janeiro since the tournament began, after she was picked as a Spectator Services Volunteer by FIFA in February.
So far, she has stewarded six out of her seven games – with just the final to go.
'I still can't quite believe I'm going to be at the final on Sunday – I'll be watching the semi-finals intently, with great excitement to find out who will end up in the final. It's so sad that it's coming to an end. I can't believe how quickly it's gone,' she said.
Her shifts have fallen on some of the most dramatic moments of the cup – when Argentine Lionel Messi scored the winner against Bosnia and when reigning champions Spain were knocked out by Chile.
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The highlights of the experience have been joining a conga with the Belgian fans after they beat Russia and seeing people overwhelmed with emotion as they enter the Maracana, she said.
'Being a volunteer at the World Cup has been an amazing experience. I've met people from all over the world, seen parts of world-class football matches and got to know the Maracana. The atmosphere is just amazing,' she added
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Her role has involved meeting and greeting fans, taking them to their seats and dealing with any ticketing problems.
Although the games have kept her busy, Miss Jermany, who graduated from the University of Nottingham last summer, has had plenty of time to see the sights in Rio.
During the trip, she has split her time between a 14-bed dorm in Lapa and the home of a Brazilian volunteering friend and her family in Niteroi – which she described as a 'dream come true'.
'It's been so lovely to stay at Patricia's house in Niterioi and I have truly felt at home. I arrived from my 14-bed dorm at the noisy hostel into a peaceful gated neighbourhood, complete with my own double bed, balcony and bathroom,' she said.
After the final, she will spend three weeks in Peru before heading to Lisbon at the start of August.
To follow Miss Jermany's travels, visit her blog at www.travellingginge.wordpress.com