Ketchum, whose GE team tests and overhauls aircraft engines at GE Aviation, won a gold medal at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. He was a member of Team USA’s 800-meter freestyle relay squad. Ketchum’s colleague and fellow Olympic swimmer Stéphan Caron is a manager at GE Capital in London. Caron attended three Olympic Games – in Los Angeles, Seoul, and Barcelona – and won two bronze medals in 100-meter freestyle for France, his home country.
Ketchum and Caron are far from being the only members of GE’s Olympic and Paralympic club. GE has employed 21 former and current participants in the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Five of them will travel to London. The athletes have represented a total of 12 countries and won nine medals, including four gold medals.
Paralympic rower Emma Preuschl from GE Aviation won a silver medal at the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing. She is competing again in London.
“After reaching the top, you strive to do it again and again,” Ketchum says. “Many qualities translate from athletics to the professional world, including being a team player and having the discipline to work hard. Knowing what it takes to be the best applies to anything you do in your life.”
Five GE employees will join Team USA at the London Games. Paralympic rower and GE Aviation employee Emma Preuschl is a veteran. Preuschl was born with a nerve injury that compromised the muscles in her left arm. She learned to row with her aunt on a lake in Wisconsin, worked hard, and won a silver medal in Beijing in 2008. “It was an incredible, life-changing experience,” Preuschl says. She is looking forward to London. “Great Britain is the birthplace of Paralympic sport,” she says. “The Great Britain team is the clear favorite, but we’ve trained hard and are seven to 10 seconds faster than we were at the end of last year. I’m feeling good about our crew and our competitiveness. We’re definitely medal contenders.”
Preuschl’s GE colleagues on Team USA include Olympic rower Eric Hurd, and field hockey team captain Lauren Crandall. Jonathan Mize, a Paralympic archer, and Gabe Gardner, an indoor volleyball player and gold medalist from Beijing, are traveling to London as alternates for their teams. You can follow the athletes and their events online and on Twitter. Sign up by clicking on their name. The Olympic Games start today. The Paralympic Games open on August 29.