Our one and only (thank God!) Melvis volunteered for the recent Continental Cup which was held in Las Vegas during the week of January 14th and was the last warmup event prior to the Olympics which was held in February.
Given Melvis’ background in Disaster Recovery Planning/Incident Management, it wasn’t a reach when he was assigned to the Security/Accreditation Team where he spent long but happy days ensuring that the curlers were safe from unwanted intrusion. Interestingly enough, the head of Security/Accreditation is also a left handed curler as were most of the people who were on the team including another Randy from Saskatoon so for once, LEFTIES RULE!
Some highlights from the event:
- Doing the accreditation for the President of the World Curling Federation without knowing who she was…and being embarrassed afterwards when I found out. She was just lovely BTW and that Scottish accent was awesome.
- Meeting my personal hero Dick Fosbury (of the famous Fosbury Flop) who was awesome!
- Watching the entry of the athletes where they were being led in by showgirls, burlesque dancers and male strippers (I liked that and the boys from Thunder From Down Under were just wonderful, one of whom is going to take up curling)
- Meeting members of the Scottish, American, Swedish, Norwegian, Japanese and Canadian teams who, for the most part, were incredibly gracious. The Japanese junior women’s team impressed me the most as they played very tactical games that usually ended in ties.
- Learning lots about sweeping and strategy – which was easy when you were literally on the ice doing security and also getting to spend 30 minutes with the vice from the Swedish Women’s team who is considered one of the best in the world.
- Being able to actually throw on real ice which was a surreal experience – I felt like a swan gliding along as I kept going and going and going….
- Marching the athletes through a full casino being led by pipers to the opening ceremony
- Meeting some incredibly nice people who are now great friends and have extended invitations to come up to the north to do some curling.
- Reducing the entire merch area to hysterics when asked how to tell the difference between dark blue and black hoodies and telling the woman asking “..trust me hon, I’m gay and we know color”
- After apologizing numerous times for a screw up in merch being told “..would you stop being such a damn Canadian and quit apologizing?” to which I responded “I’m sorry”. The person stomped off muttering “..God damn people from the Maritimes”
- Being able to watch curling while on break with other volunteers and actually able to intelligently discuss the numerous faults of a certain men’s team from a North American country with a very opinionated skip from the Yukon.
- And last but not least, making Pat Popovich incredibly jealous with numerous texts of what was going on.
This was an excellent experience and LSCC members should consider volunteering for events like this where you can learn, laugh and make friends that will last for a lifetime! And now, to figure out how to get to Red Deer, Alberta to join the newly renamed “Team Hot Sl*ts of the Day!” for a couple of games…
Randy “Melvis” Sabbagh