Trade workers go for gold at the so-called Plumbers' Olympics
MONTREAL -- The Tokyo Olympics are fast approaching, but at the Verdun Adult and Career Centre, there was some down and dirtier games going on on Sunday.
That's where competitors were taking part in the Skills Canada Virtual National Competition, a.k.a. the Plumbing Olympics.
“It's quite stressful, to be honest with you,” said competitor Paolo Gualtieri. “But I'm happy to represent my school.”
Gualtieri is a relative newcomer to the vocational trade world, having spent 12 years in finance.
“I wasn't happy where I was at that point in my life, I felt I was capped,” he said. “I enjoy working with my hands, so I decided to do a career change.”
He's not alone in shifting towards working with his hands, according to VACC director Kara Woods.
“As a result of COVID, people are re-assessing their careers or looking for a new career and we've had an influx of students from the ages of 18 to 60-years-old, wanting something different, wanting something hands on,” she said.
Gualtieri's rookie status put him at a bit of a disadvantage, said his coach, Angelo Afenticoglou.
“The other competitors across Canada have had prior experience and have done a couple competitions at the provincial level, which he hasn't. But he's doing really good, though,” he said.
Like any athlete, prececision and timing are key to success at competition, which was held virtually this year and judged by judges across the country.
Results from the competition will be made available on June 15.