My Paralympic Experience: Melanie Gallee in PyeongChang

My name is Melanie Gallee and I am currently enrolled in the 4 year BBA program of tourism and hospitality management. I am currently having my practical year, where we also have service and cooking lessons. Chef Gansterer, our professor in the kitchen, has been involved with international events for many years. This was his third time at the Paralympics, and he asked me if I would be interested to work with him at the Alpenhaus during the games in South Korea.

We were a team of 10 all together - eight students and two supervisors. I still feel very honored that I was chosen out of more than 100 students who were also interested in accompanying Chef Gansterer on this once in a lifetime trip.

I was very excited about traveling to South Korea. If I wouldn’t have had this opportunity I don't think I would ever have had the opportunity to go. As someone who loves to travel it was no problem making the trip.

During my stay I improved my communication skills, especially with disabled people. I also saw first hand how demanding running a hospitality house abroad can be, especially during the Olympics/Paralympics.

My favorite memory was on the last evening in the Alpenhaus after the closing ceremony. Athletes which we got to know during the Paralympics came to the afterparty and we ate, danced and chatted with them. They are quite funny and always see the positive side of their disabilities. The moment we took pictures with Markus Salcher, Martin Würz and Nico Pajantschitsch is also one of my favorite memories.

- Melanie Gallee, BBA Tourism and Hospitality Management