In celebration of the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janiero, we wanted to take the opportunity to do a “Throwback Thursday” to shine the spotlight on one of our other facilities that is located in a recent Olympic Host City – Vancouver, Canada. Below, you’ll find a message from our Managing Director at “CLS” in Vancouver, a LSG Sky Chefs joint venture company, and a short interview from two of our employees who work there. They also took the time to share some advice for their colleagues in Rio as they’re facing a huge influx in demand during the Olympics season. Enjoy the read!
A word from the Managing Director in Vancouver
It has been 6 years since the Olympic and Paralympic games were hosted in Vancouver and Whistler, British Columbia.
It was a terrific opportunity to welcome the world to Vancouver and share with visitors what Canada and Canadians are about.
Yes, it was terrific to see Alex Bilodeau win the Gold medal in freestyle and the Women and Men’s Ice Hockey teams do the same in “Canada’s game”, but it was much more than that. The preparation and planning for the Olympics and Paralympics welded the community together.
Everyone wanted the Games to be a success. Corporations, competitors and individuals freely volunteered their time and resources with a great sense of purpose and community spirit. The streets were filled with thousands of happy people watching sports and celebrating together.
Canadian pride was on display and Jacques Rogge, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) President, termed the Vancouver Olympics the “excellent and friendly games”. The infrastructure that was put in, including the improved highway to Whistler Blackcomb Mountain and the Sky train transit system, were good investments that have benefited all the British Columbians that use these on a daily basis.
Hospitality businesses consciously focused on the importance of providing great service and value for money as they understood that the opportunity to grow tourism depended on the thousands of visitors having a good time. Strong tourism numbers post-Olympics are a testament to the success of the games at virtually every level and the positive experience visitors had.
We were a bit short on snow as sometimes happens in March, but other than that I think it was a perfect time and if given the opportunity, I think most Canadians would host this event again.
Advice for colleagues in Rio: Get involved and do your part to make Rio a huge success. Enjoy.
David Wainman, Managing Director, CLS Canada
Interviews with two of our colleagues in Vancouver
Maria Wall joined CLS Catering Services Ltd. in 2008 as Financial Controller, Canada. Maria had previously worked for Sky Chefs Canada Limited from 1987 to 2004.
During the 2010 Olympics, Maria enjoyed the games held at Vancouver and Whistler like all CLS employees and all Canadians.
What was it like to have your city host the Olympic Games? Having Vancouver host the 2010 games was a memorable and proud moment for Canadians. It was exciting to be part of the whole experience, whether watching events at the Olympic venues, being part of the crowds in the downtown streets or having the world see the beautiful city that we live in.
How did having the Olympics in your city affect your daily life? The 2010 games were well planned and organized with little disruption to daily life, especially with the influx of athletes and visitors from all parts of the world to the City of Vancouver and the surrounding areas. Overall, it was an enjoyable and memorable experience.
How did you experience the Olympics? I attended speed skating and ice dancing events and watched the other events on TV. Many of the restaurants and other public venues had large screens set up so the general public could enjoy the games at all times during the Olympics.
What is your favorite sport in the Olympics? Hockey.
What is your most memorable “Olympics moment”? Men’s Canadian Hockey Team winning Gold over USA.
How did the Olympic Games change your daily life at LSG? No change to daily life. Traffic planning was well organized so no significant issues travelling around the city.
If you could give advice to our colleagues at our facility in Rio about working during the Olympics, what would you tell them? Welcome all the athletes and visitors to your city. It is a privilege to be a host city! Enjoy the games!
Tony Wong joined CLS Vancouver in 2009 as a Production Supervisor. In 2013, he relocated to CLS Toronto as the Operations Manager and in 2015 he rejoined CLS Vancouver as the LPS Manager.
During the 2010 Olympics, Tony performed in both the Opening and Closing ceremonies.
What was it like to have your city host the Olympic Games? It was unbelievable. Everyone in the city had so much fun!
How did having the Olympics in your city affect your daily life? Personally, I spent less time at home. There were various events happening all over the city each night and most of these events were free.
How did you experience the Olympics? I caught most of the events on TV like most people, but I did catch one skiing event on the mountain.
What is your favorite sport in the Olympics? For the winter Olympics it is men’s ice hockey. For summer, I like to watch the 4x100m.
What is your personal favorite sport (Olympics or not)? Personally, I like beach and indoor volleyball.
What has been your favorite Opening Ceremony? I was a performer at the Opening ceremonies in Vancouver, so that would have to be my favorite.
What is your most memorable “Olympics moment”? Sidney Crosby scoring the “golden goal” in 2010 against USA to capture the gold medal in men’s ice hockey for Canada.
How did the Olympics Games change your daily work at LSG? There were a few extra security checkpoints at the airport, but for the most part it was business as usual.
If you could give advice to our colleagues at our facility in Rio about working during the Olympics, what would you tell them? Enjoy the games and soak in the atmosphere!