Paralympic skier Sean Halsted won’t be the only Spokane area resident at the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympics.
Jamie Redman will also be there.
But not as an athlete. Instead, Redman will be assisting the Parlympic athletes as an athlete service coordinator.
Redman describes her role in South Korea this way: “If everything goes as planned (I) … pass out snacks and free tickets … but nothing goes as planned.”
Redman has some Olympic experience. In 2012 she was an alternate for the U.S. Olympic rowing team. She also won two NCAA rowing titles for Yale University. Now, Redman works as a physical therapist in Spokane.
The training to be an athletes service coordinator covers the full gamut of possibilities – from nuclear war to athlete sickness.
“Whatever worry I can think of, or thought of, they have thought of a plan three or four years ago,” she said of her training.
Since arriving in South Korea on Tuesday, Redman said she’s been busy preparing the village for the incoming Paralympic athletes.
“Winning gold medals is dirty business, and it was all hands on deck to clean up after the Olympic crew moved out,” she said in an email.
Plus, there have been added complications. Twelve inches of snow have covered the wheelchair ramps and “Team USA is living in a fourteen-story building … with only one elevator.”
Still, Redman said she was excited and honored to have been elected to the position. She’s happy to be able to continue giving back to the U.S. team and athletes.
“The Paralympic athletes of Team USA embody everything that is good about sport: hard work, perseverance, courage, grit, strength, passion,” she said. “With all the glitz and glamor of the Olympic Games, sometimes the purity of sport is lost in all the money and sponsorships and media rights and scandals and fame. But with the Paralympics, these athletes truly represent the values of Olympism: friendship, excellence and respect.”