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It is no question, who once participated as a volunteer at the Icelandic Horse World Championships, is most likely infected by the virus. Obviously, not by the Icelandic horse virus - this has happened long ago - but by the World-Cup-Volunteer-Virus. Many acute symptoms, short-term and long-term effects can vary from volunteer to volunteer. So far astonished, enthusiastic, inspired, joyful, sociable and emotional faces have been diagnosed to be most frequent symptoms. In the short term, many volunteers also run the risk of a lack of sleep, muscle soreness in the laughing muscles, as well as a unique ability to improvise in all kind of situations. However, what the virus is most known for is its long-term effects. Friendships are built, plans are forged out and a two-year anticipation for the next World Cup begins.

Me for example, I was caught by the virus immediately and it won’t let go. Inspired by a Swiss volunteer colleague and to add some more anticipation, I packed my bike a couple of days before the World Cup 2017 in Oirschot and cycled for the last 400km to Oirschot. The warm welcome from the two most hard-working volunteers - so they say and I'm sure it's true - was the perfect start for me in another phase of acute symptoms and new long-term effects of the World Cup virus.

Dear Icelandic Horse Friends, get infected by the World-Cup-Volunteer-Virus, join this great community and always remember that Volunteers “can hear the beat” and of course “run as one”!

Simone Reinhart, 21 years from Wädenswil/ Kanton Zürich, Switzerland

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