Record Medal Count for Canada as 40th WorldSkills Competition Closes

    CALGARY, Sept. 6 /CNW/ - 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
    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."

    High resolution photos are available at
Broadcast quality video is also available to media at CNW's Broadcast on
Demand service, at


    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.

    WorldSkills International

    WorldSkills International's (WSI) mission is to promote, through the
cooperative action of 51 Member 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

    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.

For further information:

For further information: Laurie Stretch, WorldSkills Media Centre,
Phone: (403) 617-4798; WorldSkills International: Michelle Bussey, Secretariat
- Communications and Marketing Director, Direct Line: (902) 450-5412, Mobile:
(902) 441-7041, Email:, Website:; Skills/Compétences Canada: Christianne Scholfield,
Director Pan-Canadian Partnership Development, Direct Line: (819) 771-7545
ext. 1, Fax: (819) 771-5575, Toll Free: 1-877-754-5226, Website:

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