Now that we have bid farewell to 2013 and officially welcomed in the new year, the pace of the work on the 2015 FIS World Alpine Ski Championships shifts from that of a marathon race to one that resembles more of a 100-meter dash. The time for planning has quickly come to an end, replaced by the time for implementation.
While it hardly seems possible that it has been three and a half years since we won the championships, we now find ourselves in the home stretch, with the One-Year Countdown Celebration slated for Feb. 1.
The clock is also ticking on several other World Championships-related opportunities as well that you won’t want to miss out on. The first involves giving your time and talents to become a member of “The 15ers,” the volunteer corps that will assist in manning and delivering all aspects of the 2015 Championships.
By the time the world returns to Vail and Beaver Creek on Feb. 2, 2015, we anticipate that there will be approximately 2,200 members of The 15ers, with more than 1,500 applications having been received to date.
One key thing to remember when considering becoming a World Championships volunteer is that there is a wide variety of both indoor and outdoor roles and responsibilities associated with the event that do not involve being able to ski down one of the toughest downhill courses in the world. Volunteer roles will include greeters, team ambassadors, accreditation, drivers, media and broadcast, office and administrative support and everything in between.
Another thing to keep in mind is that while the 60-hour time requirement may initially seem like a considerable commitment, remember that there are many ways to accumulate those hours throughout the duration of the Championships, with day and night shifts, based on the individual areas and to accommodate work schedules. Interestingly enough, during the 1999 World Championships, we found that many of the 1,462 volunteers exceeded their required hours, some working close to 100 hours because they became so immersed in the event and their experiences.
Aside from the opportunity to get up close and personal with the 2015 World Championships, volunteers will receive a complete J. Lindeberg uniform, which includes a winter jacket and snow pants, invites for fun volunteer parties and one free meal per shift, along with the chance to make friends with people from all around the world.
If volunteering for the Championships ends up not being something you choose to undertake and you have a spare room, then I urge you to please consider hosting an out of town volunteer. We anticipate that over 500 of our volunteers will come from out of state and, in some instances, outside the United States.
Hosting a volunteer can be a wonderful experience, as well as a unique way to connect with the Championships, not to mention help welcome someone who has traveled a great distance to our home.
If you are interested in the Volunteer Homestay Program, please contact Elle Kehoe at 970-748-5926 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finally, the last installment of 2015 membership levels, dubbed the 2015 Fan Club, was launched during our World Cup test events. For just $215, you can become a Fan, with benefits including two limited edition Fan Club hats and pin sets.
The Fan Club is specifically designed for grassroots donors that not only want to show their support for the 2015 World Championships, but to also help us deliver the dream of bringing the Championships back to the United States for the first time in 16 years.
To become a 2015 Fan or to get additional information on other World Championships donor opportunities, visit www.vailbeavercreek2015.com.
The clock is indeed ticking down for everyone that is or will be involved in any way, shape or form in the 2015 FIS World Alpine Ski Championships. Don’t let these opportunities pass you by as there are no guarantees when we might have the next chance to host an international event of this magnitude.
Ceil Folz is president of the Vail Valley Foundation and president of the 2015 World Alpine Ski Championships Organizing Committee. The 2015 World Alpine Ski Championships are scheduled from Feb. 2-15, 2015.