Interview: Didier Montes

Interview: Didier Montes

This spring, the IWGA has had one extra person working in the office – or at a distance, when that was required. Please meet our Intern, Didier Montes, in the Interview of the Month!

Why did you apply for an internship at the IWGA?

I finished my Masters degree in Sports Administration and Technology at AISTS in Lausanne, Switzerland back in December 2019. This opened up a great opportunity to have a first experience in an organisation that governs a multi-sport event. I had experience working as a sports journalist and communications specialist in Spain, and gaining some experience in an international organisation such as IWGA was one of my top priorities after finishing my studies. For this reason I applied for a three-month internship at the IWGA.

What did you expect – and has the job met your expectations?

I was aware that the IWGA is a compact organisation, so my ambitions were to get involve in as many projects and activities as I could. For me this has been one advantage of my IWGA experience. Also, I wanted to use my skills to help the team as much as possible, and have an impact. At the end, I have been able to assist several colleagues with different tasks. I hope I have been able to make their jobs a little bit easier.

What have been the tasks so far?

The main project I was involved in was to build, from scratch, a new document containing information for cities interested in hosting The World Games. We are working on a kind of presentation which delivers all the information condensed into a few pages. I have also assisted with some Social Media activities, and in helping set up the new World Games archive.

What have you learnt?

  1. Amongst other things, I have learnt how multi-sport events work from the inside, including all the complexity derived from dealing with so many stakeholders, and how to work in a decentralised environment as most of the staff are working remotely. The IWGA headquarters is in Lausanne; I have been working from there. But we have colleagues who are based in Finland, Germany and Spain. Although working in different countries, they perform as a team.

What was new and surprising for you?

The most surprising thing was witnessing how the delay of the Olympic Games has affected the whole sports eco-system. The sports industry is much more interconnected than many others, and the domino effect was massive. The importance of the Olympic Games for sports, even those that are not in the event, is crucial and living that from the inside has been very enriching.

How was it, working with IWGA in ‘Corona times’?

In previous jobs I have worked remotely, so I am used to managing this kind of situation. Also, technology allows people to collaborate efficiently even when they are thousands of kilometres apart. As I said before, IWGA staff work from different European countries, so the work-flow has not been greatly affected. This crisis has shown me how sometimes small organisations can face problems in a more efficient way than the big ones.

When friends ask about the IWGA and the World Games, what do you answer?

I usually answer that IWGA is a compact sports organisation that delivers one of the biggest multi-sport events in the world. That the tasks can be very challenging but also thoroughly rewarding. Also that working here is great, as people are always willing to help and are very easy-going.

What was your impression of the IWGA and The World Games?

I knew the event before I was aware of this opportunity, so I knew what to expect. People at IWGA work hard to improve The World Games, so I am happy to have the chance to learn from all these passionate people who love sport.

Do you have plans to be in Birmingham in 2022?

Life changes so much, so the only thing I can say is: who knows, right? It would be great to see how all the work done over several years comes to a conclusion in just 11 days. The World Games will definitely be at the top of my list for 2022!

 The World Games is a multi-sport event staged every four years by the International World Games Association under the patronage of the International Olympic Committee. The 11th edition of The World Games will be held in Birmingham, Alabama, USA, 7-17 July 2022. 3,600 athletes from over 30 sports and 100 countries will take part in The World Games.

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