Macedonia -- The 2016 Olympic Games are less than one month away and one Macedonia paramedic plans to lend a hand in Rio de Janeiro.
Matt Harman, 25, has worked part-time as a paramedic for the Macedonia Fire Department for three and a half years and for Hudson for seven years. Harman is not going to Rio with a group or for the city, but on his own.
Harman, grew up an only child in Twinsburg and is a 2009 Twinsburg High School graduate who recently became a Stow resident. After high school, he attended Akron General Medical Center's Paramedic Education Program, which he graduated from in 2011.
He decided to take his skills abroad after seeing a posting for a job providing medical support for the last Winter Olympics, but he said that didn't pan out. In August 2014, he applied to work as a paramedic at the next summer Olympics and said the application process has been a long one but he was eventually accepted and is getting ready to leave next month.
"It's a once-in-a-lifetime thing," Harman said. "I thought it would be a pretty cool adventure."
He chose mountain biking as one of his areas of interest in the application, and he will be stationed at the mountain bike competition during the games. Harman said he enjoys mountain biking himself, so he is looking forward to seeing the competition.
"I mountain bike a couple times a week in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park," Harman said adding people may also know him from his other hobby: racing his 2008 Corvette Z06.
Mountain Biking events will take place at Deodoro X-Park, and according to the spectator guide on the Rio Olympics website, the course is approximately 5 kilometers long.
Harman said the Olympics is taking care of his accommodations and transportation from his hotel to Deodoro, as well as his meals while he is on duty. They will also supply a uniform for him. He is scheduled to be at the bike park Aug. 17 through 21 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. While he will miss the beginning of the games, Aug. 5 -- as he isn't flying to Rio until Aug. 14 -- he will get to see the closing ceremonies of the games.
Volunteers from all over the world will be working the games, Harman said, adding he is looking forward to meeting the athletes and watching the events.
He is also glad to not be working aquatic events due to concerns over the water quality. He also plans to bring "a lot" of mosquito repellent to avoid catching Zika, a mosquito-borne virus that has been in the news.
Briana Barker: 330-541-9432