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Spotlights

Alumna volunteering at Rio Olympics

Alumna volunteering at Rio Olympics


While many Americans watch the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from the comfort of their homes, alumna Karen Kirsop Beck ’84 will be in the thick of the action. She is volunteering at the Olympics from Aug. 5-21 and documenting her adventures. You can see all her updates on the Otterbein University Flickr page and get an inside look at this year’s games!

Beck applied to be a volunteer three years ago and was chosen to serve as a team leader in technology at the Olympic Equestrian Center and Beach Volleyball in Deodoro, Brazil.

To be selected as a volunteer, she filled out a lengthy application, had an online interview with people from six different countries, completed intensive online training classes and learned Portuguese, the native language of Brazil.

Beck, a resident of Mt. Pleasant, SC, was a health and physical education teacher for 32 years before she retired from the Charleston County School District this year.

“Even though I’m not an athlete, volunteers are a very important part of the games,” she wrote.

This is not her first exposure to the Olympics. In 1976, she was taken to see her first

Olympic Games in Montreal. Since then, she attended the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta and the 2014 games in London. It was after attending the London games that she applied to volunteer for the games in Rio.

“I am very honored to be able to support the United States and be part of the Olympic Games,” wrote Beck. “I truly believe in the Olympic spirit and the goodwill which is present during the games.”