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February 22, 2010

Adding Mileage to the 2010 Winter Olympics

Al Lund has been around the track a few times, but he’s been adding more mileage than usual since the opening of the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games. Al, director of the JIBC’s Driver Education Centre (DEC) has been responsible for the road safety training of thousands of justice and public safety professionals and taxi drivers since he returned to the JIBC in October 1988. As a volunteer Team Leader of VANOC’s Transportation Division, he will be leaning on his years of driving and teaching experience to ensure that the cadre of drivers reporting to him know their routes and safely transport members of the "Olympic family" to their destinations. cavy judging. While the stage is not on the same scale of the Olympics, the passion is still there."

The logistics involved in coordinating the Transportation Division are complex. From a location just under the Burrard Street Bridge, a fleet of 4,600 vehicles is available to be dispatched 24/7. Al is one of 12 Team Leaders on the day shift, all highly experienced drivers themselves, each with 20 drivers reporting them.

"It’s by far the most complicated and demanding volunteer role that I’ve ever signed up for," says Al. "Even if you think you know the City well, you need to become familiar with all of the designated routes and the vehicle refueling logistics are a nightmare." And yes, in spite of their best efforts, accidents will happen. It is estimated that 10% of the fleet will be damaged during the course of the Games, though hopefully, not under Al’s watch.

Al’s volunteer day starts with a 5:30 a.m. bus departure from Ladner Exchange, a transfer to the Canada Line and then a walk from Olympic Station to the vehicle dispatch facility below the Burrard Bridge. While he’s enjoyed the opportunity to meet International Olympic Committee delegates and their guests and sneak peeks at some of the venues, the highlight thus far has been the opportunity to participate in the final opening ceremony dress rehearsal. "It was just incredible," says Al. "The transformation of the venue and performance were so well executed that I couldn’t believe that I was sitting at BC Place stadium."

So, after the athletes and officials have departed, the vehicles sold and the Olympic flags lowered, what will be next on Al’s agenda? "While the Games have been a great experience," says Al, "I’m looking forward to resuming my international cavy judging. While the stage is not on the same scale of the Olympics, the passion is still there."

Tags: olympics, volunteering

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Last updated March 31, 2016