COLUMBUS (WCMH) — From Otterbein University to the Olympics, one graduate from the Westerville university is making her Olympic dreams come true. She’s currently at the Winter Games as an official volunteer.
Karen Beck graduated from Otterbein University in 1984, she is currently in South Korea attending her 5th Olympic games. Her second Olympics as a volunteer.
“We have 8 hour days, we usually work 2 to 3 days and then we have a day off, Beck said to NBC 4 in a Skype interview. She is working at the Gangnueng Ice Arena at the gate, on the ice and with information. The arena is where Olympic figure skating and speed skating competitions take place.
“It is just incredible, like an orchestra, them going in and out so fast,” Beck said of the speed skating.
Beck also caught up with NBC’s Hoda Kotb and Al Roker watching team USA compete.
This is not her first taste of the Olympics, it is her 5th. As a patron, Beck attended the Olympics in Montreal, Atlanta and London. In 2014 after retiring she decided to apply to be an Olympic volunteer. It was a two-year vetting process but she got to volunteer at the Olympic games in Rio and now South Korea, “I went through the process and I got chosen, and I am just really excited I got the chance,” Beck said.
Beck said watching team USA go for the gold is always a highlight but making new friends around the world also makes volunteering at the Olympics such a great experience, “I have one roommate she’s from the UK and another one from Greece.” Beck continued, “It’s nice to meet people from around the world, we’ve had even more chance to do that this year.”
Beck will remain in South Korea through the middle of March. She says hello to her nieces in Columbus, Megan and Marilyn.