Visiting Olympics, UA graduate has London eye
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Visiting Olympics, UA graduate has London eye

LONDON – Marissa Feiwus has traveled extensively since arriving in Europe in March.

As a paid intern for the federal Workforce Recruitment Program and an employee of the chaplain’s office of the U.S. Army’s Installation Management Command-Europe in Heidelberg, Germany, the University of Arizona graduate has made weekend trips to Italy, Austria, the Netherlands, France and Spain.

But a visit to the Olympics is like no other.

“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience being here during the Olympics,” she said. “So far I really like it. It’s very different than Germany because of the hustle and bustle.”

When Feiwus, 23, of West Caldwell, N.J., planned her two-day trip to London, she researched historic places to visit as well as Olympic venues. As a fan of basketball, gymnastics and swimming, she hoped to purchase tickets to an Olympic event.

“They had weightlifting for $250, and that was the cheapest thing … while I was here,” she said. “If I was here for longer, I would try harder to get tickets to an event.”

Still, Feiwus said she caught Olympic fever. While riding the London Eye, the towering Ferris wheel on the banks of the River Thames, she spotted a beach volleyball event under way at a nearby stadium.

“The stadium is packed!” she said. “I would like to go take pictures at the stadiums to show that I was really here.”

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After traveling all over Europe, this stop in the U.K. was a welcome change for Feiwus.

“Everyone’s speaking English and I’m not used to it,” she said. “I definitely feel a lot better and more comfortable being here.”

Feiwus said she planned to meet with friends who live in London, including two from the University of Arizona who promised a tour of the city. Even though she is far from home, she has connected with Arizona friends everywhere she has gone on her European journeys.

“When I was in Barcelona, I went to visit my college roommate,” Feiwus said.

Although she has bonded with those from her “second home,” she misses Arizona.

“Free water. In Arizona, everywhere you go they have to give you free water,” she said. “In Europe, water is very expensive.”

After graduating in December 2011, Feiwus made her way to Germany, following in the footsteps of two friends from school who joined the same program the last two years. After her internship ends in late September, she plans move to New York, New Jersey, Arizona or Washington, D.C.

The move will have to wait. Until she heads back to the states, Feiwus will continue her European adventure with a weekend full of Olympic memories.

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Julie Leven/Cronkite News Service

Marissa Feiwus, a University of Arizona graduate from West Caldwell, N.J., looks out on the the River Thames while taking a ride on the London Eye.