Carolina students help Vancouver get ready
On your mark, get set, let the games begin!
As you tune in to watch the 2010 Olympics, look for some familiar Gamecock Nation faces in the crowd. Nearly a dozen South Carolina students are helping to prepare for the mammoth world sporting event in Vancouver. The students are part of a worker bee force helping to make the ceremonies a huge success.
For three months, the Vancouver Winter Olympics is the classroom for these students, who will receive two course credits for their work at the games.
The students are from the Department of Sport and Entertainment Management and include Kate Erikson, Stafford, Virginia; Lexi Fitch, Charleston S.C.; Nikki Loescher, Frederick, Maryland; Christine Harding, Strongsville, Ohio; Tyler McBride, Matthews, N.C.; Stephanie Raguseo, Fair Play, S.C.; Sarah Smith, Kernerville N.C.; Stephanie Wajsman, Atlanta, Georgia; and Dalton Williams, Union, S.C. They are interns for CLEANEVENT, a company that manages facilities and services for the Olympics.
The students arrived in early January at Whistler Mountain Resort, in Whistler, British Columbia, one of two auxiliary venue cities for this year's Winter Olympics in Vancouver. Whistler is about a one-and-a-half-hour drive north of Vancouver.
"So far, we have met so many amazing people and seen so many cool things," said junior Alexis Fitch. "This is definitely an experience of a lifetime and I am very grateful for being allowed to participate."
Before the athletes arrived, the University students were helping set up the venues to handle the hundreds of teams and their entourages descending on the resort.
"We've been having class days with morning discussions and lessons, guest speakers, and venue tours," said Christine Harding, a junior sport management and marketing and international business major. "We're getting real behind-the-scenes, hands-on-experience in event management."
But it's not all work for the students. There's plenty of time for star gazing.
Harding blogged, "We saw members of the Czech Olympic team arriving, and we were taking pictures with our cellphones...it's hard to stay cool when you're three feet away from Olympic athletes."
Several of the students are blogging about their Olympic experiences. Check out their blogs:
See all the sports venues in Whistler by going to www.vancouver2010.com/venues.