Training Day

I arrived at Whistler Creekside and signed in at 9 a.m. Training wasn’t until 10 a.m., but I was VERY anxious to start. The training tent and several other similar large tents were sectioned off in a secured area for staff, media, athletes and coaches. Outside along the back of the training tent were a row of Porta-Potties. For those who know me well, I didn’t like this news. One of our training instructors Kim informed us to beware of bears and what we should do if we came in contact with one. They had recently found bear feces on the ski trails, which is a sign they’re starting to come out of hibernation earlier than normal this year. Yikes!

After the formal training presentation, they took us on an extensive venue tour so we’d be familiar with our surroundings. There were cool boarded square areas in the main parking garage called “wax cabins”. Each participating country is given a cabin for their ski team to use to prep their equipment before they compete. Next, my supervisor Leo, assistant supervisor Lyn, me and my fellow volunteers headed on the chairlift to another load zone post on the mountain. It was the first time in my life I had ever been on a chairlift without skis. It was so strange. Some of the seeing impaired athletes were practicing on the run. Lyn explained to us that during the races the announcer will provide commentary and encourage the spectators to cheer. However, during the seeing impaired competition, the commentator asks everyone to please be completely silent so the athletes can hear their guide directing them down the run. Fascinating and super impressive! Three-thousand people are expected to attend on Saturday, the first race day. In addition, a lot of local school children will be bused in to attend the races for free, giving them a distinct opportunity to watch incredible athletes accomplish things people didn’t think was possible.

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