Olympic organizers ready to start hiring 

Sliding and Nordic centres will hire at October job fair

Like to work outside? Love the idea of helping Canadian athletes go for gold? Then Olympic officials have just the jobs for you.

Both the Nordic centre in the Callaghan Valley and the Whistler Sliding Centre are looking to hire venue workers now and Olympic officials plan to hold a job fair for the positions this month.

“(Applicants) need to be adventuresome and reliable, of course,” said Craig Lehto, director of sliding sports for the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Games.

“You (will) also have a big impact on the athletes and their successes, so I think that makes it very attractive, in my experience.

“It is really a team effort. These are small sports and the effort is very intimate to make sure it all works well for our national team.”

The sliding centre on Blackcomb is looking to hire six to eight people on a seasonal basis.

As there are only four sliding tracks in North America it’s not expected that applicants will have experience, said Lehto.

“We will do a lot of training with them and get them involved with a very unique and different type of work,” he said.

The jobs will be labour intensive and for the most part involve working outside. Workers will learn how to create perfect sliding ice and spend a considerable amount of their time standing on it, said Lehto.

The track will be up and running this winter for top athletes who will be working with international sport federations to make sure it meets specifications. The Canadian national team will also get to practice on it, with a training camp planned for March 2008.

Over the summer the sliding centre may be open to the public for viewing.

The first test events will be held in the 2008-09 season with a bobsled and skeleton event running in the first week of February 2009, and a luge event running from Feb 16 to 22.

The Nordic centre opens to the public in December for cross-country skiing.

“We are hiring staff and we want… the local community to have an opportunity to be part of what we are doing at the venue,” said John Aalberg, director of Nordic sports for VANOC.

The Nordic centre will need lift attendants for the ski jumps, groomers, ski patrol, snow making technicians and other safety maintenance personnel. In all about 20 people will be hired, with nine of those positions being full-time.

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