While waiting for the Men’s Gold Medal event in curling, I noticed a bunch of women in USA jackets walk up and sit in front of me while I was counting the number of athletes in the section. I noticed that it was the Women’s Ice Hockey team that just won Gold for defeating Canada’s Women’s team. I was low key freaking out and tried playing it cool while I asked them for a picture. They were more than happy to take one with me, and I even took a picture of the whole team in front of the curling rings for them. It was so awesome to be sitting so close to such amazing athletes. It was definitely a fantastic moment of being at the right place at the right time. I will treasure this picture forever!
After our adventure to the Japan House, Katie, Preethy, Cecily, and I went to the PyeongChang Olympic Park. There we watched a beautiful drone show of different pictures in the sky made by drones. It was definitely a site to see, considering all of the shapes and colors the drones could make.
These are few clips I took during the show, but nothing compares to what it was like in real life!
I was working a transpiration shift at Media Village on the 20th, when I look behind me and saw Soohorang and Bandabi stopping by for a visit! I quickly finished counting a bus that was loading and departing, and made my way over to get a picture with them. The volunteers were offering free polaroid pictures, and they even wrote my name in Korean at the bottom! This is a keepsake I will treasure forever.
I had a blast at the GW Reception! New Horizons had great food, delicious drinks, and of course amazing people. For starters, the food was to die for! The drinks were tasty, and exactly what we all needed for all of our hard work! Moreover, we met the President of the POCOG, Kun-Hee Lee, at the reception. He is an alumnus of GW, which made the encounter even more special. He shared some topics of the social impacts and discussions of what was being done culturally to PyeongChang, and how it impacted the Games.
On February 16th, I was working at the curling venue when a family asked me to take their picture in front of a sign. I said of course! And when I was finished, I asked if I could get a picture with their children who were dressed in traditional Korean outfits. They looked so adorable in their outfits, that I couldn’t resist with asking. The family was more than happy to accept, and took our picture!
I went to the medal ceremony last night at the POP, and it was amazing! What made it even more amazing was that Shaun White won another gold medal for the USA, and I was there to witness him get it. Not many people can say they have been to such an incredible and emotion experience in their life, but I am so grateful that I was able to be there!
Photo credit: Ben Hannibal
Willkommen means welcome in German! That’s exactly what we were last night in the Austria House. The two Austrian girls were named Kathi and Johannah. They were so sociable and kind with sharing their stories of who they were, and why they are at the Games. Kathi actually came to the Games to work at the Austria House because she won a radio contest, and Johannah was offered a job there.
I believe we made friends for life because of the amount of connections we made and experiences we exchanged. Who knew that I could have so much in common with people who live nowhere near me? Truly incredible!
Pins are like its own currency. My first exchange experience happened at the Media Village with a man who works for a TOP sponsor, Coca-Cola!
He saw my GWU pin on my lanyard, and was curious to know more about it. I explained to him that I was a student at GW and that a group of us were here to help the IOC with data collection. So, I traded my GWU pin for one of his, it has the American Flag, Olympic Rings, and Coca-Cola name.
It was definitely an outstanding experience, and I hope to gain more awesome pins along the way!
I was so nervous that I was not going to be able to eat any of the food in Korea, or even be able to order it.
For starters, I am a very picky eater and dislike anything spicy. I have never been a fan of any kind of pepper or hot sauce, so I was worried when I learned that Korean food is extremely hot. And on the other hand, I do not know any Korean. I took five years of Spanish, and I still would not consider myself fluent. Moreover, I ate at this one Korean restaurant and loved the food and atmosphere! It reminded me of what the Olympics are all about.
It was called Hansot Dosirak, and the workers there were incredibility hospitable. Even though there was a language barrier, I was able to point and explain what I wanted through hand motions. During my time at the restaurant the workers made sure I was enjoying the food, had plenty to eat, and even added extra rice to my left over box because I couldn't finish all of the pork. This restaurant experience is just a small piece of a huge picture of how people come together for the Games and respect one another. My experience there is one that I will remember for the rest of my life because of the way I was welcomed with open arms.
The Olympics consist of a variety of culture backgrounds traveling to the host city, communicating and experiencing new things in a different environment. I will be forever grateful for the new friends I make along the way of this journey, and I’m excited to continue trying Korean food!
What do you do with yourself for 48 hours in the airport? It definitely has its range of emotions between draining, stressful, and a quick rush of adrenaline, but all in all it has gotten me ready for this experience.
Most people pass the time with Netflix or a book, but I suggest taking a look around and just watch the people nearby.
One of our responsibilities at the Games is to observe or take note of the facilities being used, so while waiting for one of my many flights, I had the chance to sit back, relax, and observe. People can be so interesting with their facial expressions while thinking or body language while waiting for their flight to be called. I have come to the conclusion that everyone has the mindset that they can be themselves at an airport.
I also noticed the trend of support of the Super Bowl winning team, the Philadelphia Eagles, on display at the Philadelphia airport. So, my high expectations of celebration for the Olympics when I landed in South Korea were met by countless amounts of “PyeongChang 2018” posters, flyers, and décor throughout the airport. I am so excited to see what the Villages and other venues have on display!