It takes a certain dedication to sleep on the floor for two weeks straight, or last on a diet built around beets and more beets.

For Calgarian Stephanie Cook, it’s all part of the Olympic experience.

The 29-year-old communications adviser for an energy company is in Pyeongchang, volunteering for the Olympic organizing committee. Her role involves working with the international press covering hockey at the Gangneung arena.

Being at the Olympics is the thrill of a lifetime, says Cook, who was born in April 1988 and jokes she missed out on attending the Calgary Games as a newborn by mere months.

But she’s more than made up for that, having also volunteered in Vancouver as a media co-ordinator and in Sochi as a curling reporter.

“It is about sport but it’s not really about sport,” said Cook, speaking Tuesday from South Korea. “When you see the magic that comes together from all of these nations being in the same place cheering on, for the most part, their amateur athletes, it’s something, an atmosphere that I’ve never experienced elsewhere. It’s kind of like an addiction.”

Calgarian Olympic volunteer Stephanie Cook at the 2010 Vancouver Games, her first Olympics.

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Calgarian Olympic volunteer Stephanie Cook at the 2010 Vancouver Games, her first Olympics.

Cook, who grew up playing soccer and studied broadcasting at Mount Royal University, speaks glowingly about each of her Olympic voyages, but it’s easy to see why some would shy away from it all. For one thing, she doesn’t have a bed in Pyeongchang.

“It’s traditional in Korea to sleep on the floor because the floors are heated, so that’s been an experience and something definitely that takes some getting used to,” she said.

“It’s interesting.”

Four years ago, it was the Russian food she remembers best, but sometimes tries to forget.

“I really love beets but after Sochi I didn’t eat them for probably two years,” Cook said. “They fed us a lot of beets, that’s for sure.”

Cook said she’s already learned a lot about Korean culture just days into the Games, often in unexpected ways.

“There’s some superstitions that are really interesting that I had no idea. If you write somebody’s name in red pen it means bad things,” she said, recalling how a few days ago she was about to sign out a locker for a photographer using a red pen, when a …read more

Source:: Calgaryherald.com

      

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‘Kind of like an addiction’: Calgarian volunteering at Olympics – for third time

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