Massive WorldSkills competition kicks off

Four years of planning, plus $82 million in economic impact andattendance of 150,000, equals the largest independent event ever hostedat Stampede Park.

Four years of planning, plus $82 million in economic impact and attendance of 150,000, equals the largest independent event ever hosted at Stampede Park.

When thousands of competitors, delegates and attendees descend upon WorldSkills Calgary 2009, beginning with the opening ceremonies today, they will see millions of dollars put to use at Stampede Park, according to president and CEO Richard Walker. “There is 400 metric tonnes of state-of-the-art equipment for these competitors to use, while pouring their guts out to try to win a medal to bring home,” Walker said.

Spectators can watch all 45 skills competitions as they will all be happening at the same time across 800,000 square feet of park. In addition, there is another 250,000 square feet of park used for demonstrations and activities for spectators including performances and the Global Skills Village.

“This is the last time we will see the WorldSkills in North America in our time. This is Calgary and Alberta’s only chance to see what is equivalent to the Olympics for skills and trades,” Walker said.

Reality television chef David Adjey said he is envious of the technology the students are given to use, including the cooking stoves he estimates are worth $40,000 each.

“This is incredible for them and it really gives everyone a level playing field in terms of the technology used,” he said.

 
 
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