Twenty students had a once-in-a-lifetime volunteer opportunity.
Twenty students had a once-in-a-lifetime volunteer opportunity. Photo: Sooun Lee

Students learn Luge and Korean culture during Winter Olympics

Students in South Korea.

Bitter cold didn't stop students from enjoying the volunteer opportunity at the Winter Olympics.

A unique winter-spring term program provided 20 Miami University students with a once-in-a-lifetime learning experience during the 2018 Winter Olympic Games held in South Korea. They assisted athletes at the Luge competition.

Sooun Lee, a professor of information systems and analytics in the Farmer School of Business at Miami, helped create and launched the study abroad program that included an opportunity for the students to be volunteers in Pyeongchang.

Sooun Lee

Sooun Lee at the Luge.

Lee said he has received many compliments from the venue functional managers about the quality of the students’ works and their high spirits of volunteerism.

“Our students had to deal with very severe weather conditions from time to time (sometimes wind chill of -10F as the sliding center is located on top of a high mountain and very windy). I am very, very proud of all of our twenty students to complete this challenging task without failure. And I believe all of you in Oxford (are) too.”

The Olympic volunteering story aired on NBC. The students were also the main feature in an edition of KTV-National Cable TV News, together with Yonsei University and Meiji University (Japan) volunteer students. The report is in Korean, but the student interviews are in English.

Miami students are: Kate Allred, Morgan Burnell, Dylan Castner, Catherine Costa, Cameron Devitt, Cameron Green, Grace Hamilton, Trevor Martens, Dylan Mueller, Andrew Newman, Collin O'Sullivan, Michael Reimer, Elizabeth Rowan, Karli Schivitz, Daniel Schleitweiler, Tyler Schmitz, Patrick Sexton, Bradley Toth, Thanh Thuy Tran, and Natalie Turton.

In addition, Dustin Woods (Miami ’09) and Tyrone Jones (Miami ’12), are both trainers in speed skating at the Olympics.  John Walton, '96 leads the play-by-play of NBC’s women’s hockey coverage at the Pyeongchang Olympics.