Record Medal Count for Canada as 40th WorldSkills Competition Closes
CALGARY, September 6, 2009 -- A boisterous international crowd filled the Stampede Corral in Calgary, Alberta as medalists were announced during the Closing Ceremony of the 40th WorldSkills Competition. Team Canada Competitors took home eight medals, topping their previous record of six medals in 2007 in Shizuoka, Japan.
WorldSkills International President Tjerk (Jack) Dusseldorp declared the Calgary Competition an overwhelming success. "I am very pleased to offer you my judgment that this has been the best Competition ever," he said.
The week-long celebration and showcase of skill brought together the finest young professionals in trades and technologies from 51 Member countries/regions. More than 900 Competitors in 45 skills, ranging from fashion technology to mobile robotics, vied for the gold medals and awards over four days of intense, often highly stressful competition. Total attendance for the event, including opening and closing ceremonies, was 151,589.
The Closing Ceremony was a magnificent display of energy and excitement as medalists and special awards were announced at the sold-out event. The Albert Vidal Award was presented to Mr. Thiam Shui Tan of Singapore, as the Competitor with the highest overall score of the Competition. Korea led all nations at WorldSkills Calgary 2009, winning 23 medals. Switzerland and Japan tied for second, with 14 medals each. Chinese Taipei was third, with 12.
"I am truly in awe at the talent and determination I've witnessed this past week. I saw firsthand the very best and brightest young tradespeople and technologists hone their skills and pursue excellence in their respective fields this past week," said Richard Walker, President and CEO of WorldSkills Calgary 2009. "Each Competitor should be proud of his or her achievement tonight. They displayed commitment, passion and grace under pressure. They are all champions."
The Canadian gold medal winners were Jonathan Arbour in Cabinetmaking, Pierre-Luc Coté in Restaurant Service, and David Boivin in Graphic Design Technology. All three gold medalists are from Quebec. Winning silver medals were Jason Valdron of New Brunswick in Web Design, Brian Everts of British Columbia in Aircraft Maintenance, and Isabelle Collin of New Brunswick in Beauty Therapy. The bronze medalists were Simon Beauchamp of Quebec in Offset Printing and Daisy Liang of British Columbia in Fashion Technology. Isabelle Collin also won the Best of Nation award for Canada, an award given to the Competitor with the highest overall score from his or her respective country/region. As well as the eight medals, Canadians also won 13 Medallions For Excellence, awarded to Competitors who scored 500 or more points (out of a total possible 600).
While WorldSkills Calgary 2009 has officially drawn to a close, the Canadian Football League Labour Day Classic football game will play host to "The Celebration of WorldSkills Champions" event at the halftime show on September 7, 2009.
Prior to handing the WorldSkills flag to London, UK for the 41st WorldSkills Competition in 2011, Mr. Dusseldorp praised Calgary. "We have all now experienced the legendary friendliness of Calgarians and I am sure that, like me, you are very impressed."
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Backgrounder: WorldSkills Calgary 2009
WorldSkills Calgary 2009 marks the second time Canada hosts this international event in its 59-year history. In May 2004, at the WorldSkills General Assembly in Hong Kong, Calgary officially won the right to host the WorldSkills Competition. The successful bid was made possible through collaboration with WorldSkills International's Canadian Member organization Skills/Compétences Canada and industry, educational institutions, government and the City of Calgary. WorldSkills Calgary 2009, a not-for-profit corporation is responsible for the planning, execution and legacy for the 40th WorldSkills Competition.
For the past five years, WorldSkills Calgary 2009 has been working closely with legacy, government, and industry partners to make the 40th WorldSkills Competition the most successful to date. Although the event is held from September 1 - 7, 2009, WorldSkills Calgary 2009 has been working with legacy partners to actively help the global skills movement that addresses labour shortage, competency standards, and education programs designed to motivate and encourage young adults to explore successful career options in skills, trades, and technologies.
Backgrounder: WorldSkills International
WorldSkills International's (WSI) mission is to promote, through the cooperative action of 51 Members countries/regions, a worldwide awareness of the essential contribution that skills and high standards of competence make to the achievement of economic success and personal fulfillment. WSI provides a unique means of exchange and comparison of world-class competency standards in the industrial trades, information technologies and service sectors of the global economy. WSI works at all levels from grassroots to senior policy makers to affect change in training procedures, policy development and international standards. Through advocacy, education and Competitions, WorldSkills International is raising the level of competences throughout the world and bringing new awareness to these crucial sectors in the global economy. Without skills there is no economy.
Skills/Compétences Canada (S/CC) was founded in 1989 as a national, not-for-profit organization to actively promote careers in skilled trades and technologies to Canadian youth. S/CC works with private and public sector partners to help secure Canada's future skilled labour needs while helping Canadian youth discover rewarding careers. S/CC offers experiential learning opportunities for hundreds of thousands of young Canadians including skills, trades, and technologies competitions through regional, provincial/territorial, national and international events, as well as skills, trades, and technologies awareness programs. Headquartered in Canada's National Capital Region Skills/Compétences Canada is the Canadian Member organization of WorldSkills International and in partnership with other stakeholders created the 40th WorldSkills Competition event organizing committee WorldSkills Calgary 2009.