Sometimes Ken and Sethea just marvel at all the amazing opportunities they’ve had.
When Ken was the CEO of Ronald McDonald House Charities, he and Sethea had the amazing opportunity to travel to five different Olympic games.
They went to:
Atlanta, Georgia, summer 1996
Nagano, Japan, winter 1998
Salt Lake City, Utah, winter 2002
Athens, Greece, summer 2004
Turin, Italy, winter 2006
Ken also attended the 1988 winter Olympics in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, and the 1992 summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain.
McDonald’s would send different executives for each week of the six-week games, so Ken and Sethea would be the top representatives of McDonald’s during their time there. Since McDonald’s was a major sponsor of the Olympics, they got the royal treatment. They had their own personal security, VIP passes to every event, and a hotel room full of gifts each day.
“They treated us like big shots,” Ken said. “We’re not big shots. We’d kept thinking, God what are we doing here? How did this happen?”
One of their favorite trips was Turin. The city was absolutely gorgeous with its Italian charm. At one point during their trip, the city stayed open for 24 hours straight. They were out in the city’s main square with a crowd of 300,000 people, and they started getting scared. There were so many people that they were literally being crushed! That was one moment they were extremely grateful to have their own personal body guard to get them out of there.
Ken and Sethea were indoctrinated into the Olympic culture and made friends with many famous people such as Katie Couric from the Today Show.
Each time they attended the games, they were amazed by how different and extraordinary the experiences were. And each time, they got to enjoy being treated like big shots for a week.