CBC's Karin Larsen in Korea: Oh, the people you meet in Pyeongchang
One of the neatest things about the Olympics is all the new friends you make
Hands down the best thing about the Olympic Games is the people you meet. Here's a quick rundown of my new besties.
The award for best dressed fans goes to this group from the Sakha Republic in Russia. I ran into them at biathlon during one of the races, and they stopped me in my tracks with their beautiful outfits. Communicating was difficult due to our language differences, but they happily posed for a photo and then thanked me!
Jeong Eun Son and Suhyeon Kim are two in the army of smiling volunteers who keep things running smoothly, wishing all who pass an enthusiastic "hello," "goodbye," and "have a nice day." We met at Big Air where they were helping out in the mix zone.
Most Korean universities are on winter break and many students are spending the time off helping out in Pyeongchang. Jeong Eun is studying media and Suhyeon is a nursing student. They say they are having so much "jaemeetsuh," which is the Korean word for fun.
I probably wouldn't have met Dr. Sylvain Couture had I not come down with a nasty sore throat. Sylvain is the CBC-RC doctor, on call 24 hours a day. He was also a member of the Rio CBC-RC crew and was part of the medical staff for the Whistler athletes village during the 2010 Olympics.
Most of his clients are suffering some sort of minor ailment, although in Whistler he had to treat a head of delegation who was having a heart attack. He said he also diagnosed a surprising number of STDs and a couple of pregnancies in Whistler.
Ironically, Sylvain — who is from Montreal — is not much of a sports fan. "I love to learn about what the media does," he said.
"This is my excitement."
The family of French biathlete Anais Bescond wear their hearts on their sleeves and their daughter over their hearts. About an hour after taking this photo, dad Christian Bescond and mom Jo Burtin watched Anais ski and shoot her way to a bronze medal. They were happy to learn I was from Canada and eager to share how much Anais loves the Canmore Nordic Centre and the Canadian women's team, whom she trains with on occasion.
Steve Futterman is someone every loyal CBC listener knows through their radio, me included. Beside covering every major news story in the U.S., Steve reports from every major sports event as well: Super Bowl, World Series, Stanley Cup. He's in Pyeongchang with NBC radio. I've admired his reporting for years, so when we met at breakfast in the media village I was a little gobsmacked. Not to brag or anything, but me and Steve are now Facebook friends.
And finally, not a new friend but an old one. Dave Stewart is an international man of sport. He's from Vancouver but I only ever run into him in at Olympics. Dave was the longtime director of Sports Page and former CBC Sports producer. Here in Pyeongchang, he's working for Channel 7 Australia, helping produce their morning show. Seems about right.
- For more Olympics coverage, see www.cbc.ca/olympics.