We may still be a ways out from the opening of the 2019 FIS Snowboard, Freestyle and Freeski World Championships (Feb. 1-10), but we're already feeling the stoke. The winter extravaganza, the biggest winter sporting event held in Utah since the 2002 Olympics, will play out at three resorts--Deer Valley, Park City Mountain, and Solitude Mountain. More than 1,800 athletes and team officials are expected to take part, including three U.S. Ski & Snowboard 2018 FIS Crystal Globe winners (Chris Corning, Chloe Kim, and Alex Ferreira), competing for $75,000+ in prize money. But while the athletes and their stellar performances will claim the spotlight, it's the 900-person workforce behind the scenes that makes the event a reality. Of those positions, 650 will be filled by volunteers. Here's why you should be one of them.
Volunteers at the 2019 World Championships will carry out a variety of tasks, some that bring you right up close to the action and others offering insight into the inner workings of the event. A majority of the positions will, of course, be outside and several require intermediate or expert level skiing or snowboarding, but there are opportunities for all ages and skill levels. Calling volunteers "crucial" to event operations, Volunteer Program Manager Meg Horrocks says, "No matter the position, volunteers can expect to feel the gratitude that they are a part of making a World Champion, that they contributed to a successful event, reminding the world of Utah's passion for hosting winter sporting events." The commitment is a minimum of four shifts, ranging from 4 to 8 hours in length, depending on the assignment. Shifts are scheduled from January 12 through February 11 and will primarily be based at the three resort venues, though a few positions will also be available at the Salt Lake City International Airport, Park City Welcome Center and in the town of Park City.
So besides getting a front row seat and being a vital part of a major sporting event, what are the other benefits of volunteering? All volunteers will receive a uniform, free shift meals, and earn lift vouchers redeemable at the three resorts. You'll also have the chance to work with amazing people and may even find yourself working side-by-side with organizers for the 2021 Beijing World Champs and the 2022 Beijing Olympics. "While there are, of course, non-tangible and tangible benefits to volunteering, these volunteers are here because they share passion and enthusiasm for the winter sports they love," says Lindsay Arnold, U.S. Ski and Snowboard World Cup Event Manager. "This passion and enthusiasm reverberates throughout the entire event’s operations. Volunteers work in concert with the rest of the operations team, which in turn adds significant value to organizing committee operations. It's an incredibly valuable experience that can lead to many avenues in life, whether its meeting long-lasting friends, discovering a job opportunity, coming together as a town, or feeling like you are a part of something monumental."
With a possible Olympic bid on the horizon, volunteering is an integral part of the community and it's ultimately what will lead to the success of the 2019 FIS World Championships. So what are you waiting for? Check out all the exiting volunteer opportunities and fill out your volunteer application here. Volunteers will be informed of venue specific orientations, scheduled to take place in early and mid-January.