Q&A with... Cole Carnemark, Ludlowe graduate and Olympic intern

Photo of Justin Papp

FAIRFIELD — For almost two weeks, Fairfield native and Ludlowe High School graduate Cole Carnemark has been in South Korea, interning with a small group of Ithaca College and George Washington University students in preparation of this year’s Olympics, which begin Feb. 9.

Carnemark, a junior business administration major with a concentration in sports management, will work with other business administration majors, the Korean Olympic Committee and NBC Sports to help broadcast and facilitate the games.

For Carnemark, who celebrated his 21st birthday Feb. 1 while abroad and who remembers skating at the Olympic village at Lake Placid as a boy, the trip is a dream come true.

Q: Had you ever dreamed of going to the Olympics before?

A: I went to Lake Placid as a kid and actually skated on the “Miracle on Ice” rink, which was an unbelievable experience.

So as a kid I always wondered what it would be like to witness the Olympics in person, but I never thought I would have the opportunity to do so for real in South Korea. Being chosen to work one is something far more surreal then I could have ever imagined.

Q: How were you chosen?

A: There was an application process back in October for Ithaca students and we knew 20 students were being taken on this trip. I applied as soon as I could and luckily got the opportunity by being chosen by the sport management department.

Q: How long is the trip? What’s on the agenda?

A: After a 14-hour plane ride, we arrived in Incheon Airport on Jan. 27 and made the trip over to Seoul. We were in Seoul for five days learning about Korean culture and attending a Korean basketball game and a Korean volleyball game, learning about how different sports are on the other side of the world.

We then headed over to the Pyeongchang to pick up our gear provided for us to wear during the Olympics and headed over to the Wonju area to start training. We trained with a ton of people from around the world, some of whom have attended up to 10 Olympics before. Being in the same place as people from all around the world is really an unbelievable experience and to be with everyone at the biggest sporting event in the world is something I never could have dreamed of and something I will never forget.

Q: What is your assignment while in Korea? What will you be working on?

A: I was selected to work at the Sliding Centre, which includes luge, bobsleigh and skeleton. We are in charge of everything and anything Sliding Centre-event related. Whether that may be spectator support or making sure the event is running smoothly, it will all be categorized under my job here in Pyeongchang.

Q: What events are you most excited to see/be a part of?

A: Being a part of the luge, bobsleigh and skeleton is going to be an incredible experience because I am not as familiar with these events as I would be with hockey or skiing — And I definitely plan on attending a hockey game on a day off and maybe some skiing!

justin.papp@scni.com; @justin