‘It’s a chance for us to get out and a chance for us to work together versus working in the office’
TRURO – The judges’ votes are in and it’s official – the Russians are taking home the gold in snow sculpture.
It was the giant curling rock that Team Russia, comprised of Kelly Nauss, Dave Goswell, Cory Myers and Tony Lowe created that earned top marks during Wilson Equipment Ltd.’s ‘Wilson Winter Olympics.’
“This is awesome,” said Leo Van Kroonenburg, an 11-year employee, who was one of about 25 employees that took the afternoon off from work to participate in the Olympics. “It’s a chance for us to get out and a chance for us to work together versus working in the office. It’s really good for morale.”
The idea started in January as a Winter Carnival, but John Congdon, Derek McLellan and Michelle Bragg joined together to create the Winter Olympics.
“We figured something like this would be a nice way to break up the winter and to embrace winter,” said Congdon, co-ordinator of marketing and sales, who made up the team of judges with McLellan and Bragg. “We closed the shop (Wednesday) afternoon and everyone is out here in the snow.”
Van Kroonenburg said this is the first time Wilson Equipment hosted such an event for its employees and he loved the idea.
“It’s a good time. Even though it’s cold, so be it. It is winter in Nova Scotia.”
The Olympics started with a staff barbecue and continued inside after the snow sculptures. Inside, games included those similar to what are played on the television show ‘Minute to Win It.’
“One of my favourites is a slightly amended downhill skiing,” said Congdon. “The employees have an Oreo and start with it on their forehead. Using only their face, they have to move the Oreo down to their mouth.”
Another inside event was “greasy snowball,” which incorporates Vaseline on the nose, picking up a cotton ball on the nose and maneuvering it to a garbage can – no hands allowed of course.
The organizers also had modified bobsled and alternate biathlons booked.
The team with the best score at the end of the day earned the top prize – the coveted Wilson’s Cup - which went to Team Russia.
Jim Wilson, president and chief operating officer of Wilson Equipment Ltd., couldn’t believe the end results of the sculpture competition.
“I’m really impressed,” he said while the judges were deliberating.
While he was working away with his Team Sweden mates on a 90-metre jump, he said it was a way to help rid the winter blahs.
“We all work hard together so it’s nice to take some time on a wintery afternoon to have a little fun,” he said.
Jokingly, he said the Olympians had already undergone “drug testing” and two athletes had already been eliminated from the competition.
“We are very competitive people and we take our team activities very seriously,” he said. “Everyone is looking forward to some homemade chili and chowder at the end of the day.”