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Betsy Pourvakil: Local hair, makeup stylist headed to 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang

Posted at 7:58 AM, Feb 09, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-09 09:16:19-05

Watch Pourvakil talk about her Olympics experience in the video player above.

MILFORD, Ohio -- It's no secret athletes train their entire lives for the chance to compete in the Olympics.

Once they get there, tensions are high as anxious crowds cheer on their heroes on and spectators from around the globe watch to see who will become the best-of-the-best and take home a medal.Needless to say, these athletes have a lot on their minds during the games. The last thing they're concerned about is their appearance.

That's why one local stylist is flying more than 10,000 miles this week to provide makeup and hair services for competing athletes and their families -- free of charge -- as part of the Procter & Gamble Family Home at the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea.

A hair and makeup stylist with 30 years experience, Betsy Pourvakil of Essentials Salon & Day Spa in Milford never expected her career would land her at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio.

"Rio was one of the highlights of my career," Pourvakil said.

Procter & Gamble, a longtime sponsor of the Olympics, hired her as lead stylist for their P&G Family Home. The Family Home is a place where athletes and their families can get free salon services, food, dental care in a comfortable environment away from the crowds.

"The idea is that P&G has a lot to offer families because we're basically a household product company," said Cheri McMaster, global Olympics communication director for P&G. "We're with the athletes and families every step of their lives."

Since P&G is not a sports company, McMaster says the Family Home it's a great opportunity for them to showcase products and provide a meaningful service for athletes.

Local hair and makeup stylist Betsy Pourvakil will head to the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in South Korea to work at the Procter & Gamble Family Home where free services are provided for athletes. Emily Maxwell | WCPO

In Rio, Pourvakil assembled a team of stylists to assist athletes. Some of their clients included the U.S. women's gymnastics team, Ireland's men's soccer team and U.S. women's track and field sprinter Allyson Felix.

"Working with the athletes and being there with people from all over the world was in itself an exciting experience," Pourvakil said.

The days were long and schedules were hectic, but Pourvakil said she is excited to do it all over again and work with athletes in PyeongChang.

"They work really hard every day to train," she said. "A lot are on the road for a long time and don’t have time to pamper, so to give them that experience was just an awesome honor."

At the salon, guests can get a variety of services including a haircut, style, makeup, shave or beard trim. This year Pourvakil will be working solo and is responsible for styling athletes for media interviews and events.

While she never knows exactly who's going to be sitting in her chair, the salon veteran says she handles the athletes just like any other of her clients.

"It’s different in that you have celebrity athletes in front of you, but really they're appreciating the human touch, appreciating the pampering and appreciating the chance to sit back and let someone else take care of them," she said. "It’s not that different than what I do every day, except you have a camera."

Pourvakil will be in PyeongChang for the first two weeks of the Winter Games. While this time she's packing warm winter clothes instead of beach clothes, she's anxious to be back in the athlete's village.

"When is there another time you’d be able to be in a place where there is that many people from all over the world in one place," she said.