Local woman volunteers at Rio Olympics

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil — A local woman shares her experience only with News 3 as she works with Olympic athletes in Rio de Janeiro.

News 3’s Ashley Garrett caught up with the woman who says this isn’t her first rodeo.

Wandi Steward lives in Columbus but she’s working as a volunteer in Rio. She says this isn’t her first, not her second but her third Olympics.

Steward was standing on the roof top of the USA hospitality house and behind it is the beautiful Ipanema Beach during her Facetime interview with News 3.

Steward says she’s come across many athletes including gymnast Gabby Douglas and also world record breaking swimmer Katie Ledecky.

While chatting with Steward, she shared some of the things that she’s enjoyed thus far. She says when she has time she enjoys visiting favelas.

Steward says those areas are considered slums but she says she very much enjoys the people there. Wandi has all sorts of pictures and video from the Olympics on her facebook page.

She captured a beautiful sunset and the Olympics beach volleyball court. She also has a picture of her holding an Olympic torch.I asked Steward, what is it about the Olympics that makes you want keep on going.

“It’s the pageantry, it’s the chaos, it’s the international or intercultural connectedness, it’s so much, it’s the people being so friendly toward each other”, says Steward.

Steward says her first Olympics was in 1996 in Atlanta. I asked if Rio would be her last one she responded saying she’s going to keep going until she can’t go anymore.

Closing ceremonies are set for the 21st. Steward says she’s had to shell out $2,000 to be able to volunteer but her trip is 40 days long total.

She says the money is a small price to pay- for all that she’s getting with this experience.

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