Doug Campbell from Stirling, Ontario, has been involved in ski racing for more than 20 years, earning his first World Cup volunteer stripes in the early 2000’s at the Lake Louise World Cup.
He’ll be serving as Technical Delegate for the Men’s speed events at the 2022 Olympics – one of only two Canadians involved with the local race organizing committee.
When Canada’s Jack Crawford, Brodie Seger and Broderick Thompson aim for gold in the men’s downhill and the super G events at the 2022 Beijing Games, they’ll ski past fellow Canuck Doug Campbell. The Stirling, Ontario resident and recently retired school district Senior Administrator of Planning and Facilities will be one of only two Canadians working as part of the Chinese race organizing committee.
Campbell, who totals more than two decades of ski racing volunteer mileage, will be inside the fences, serving as technical delegate. We caught up with him to learn more about his role and this chance of a lifetime.
How did you land this opportunity for the Beijing Games?
Three years ago, Canada was offered the assignment of TD for the Beijing Games. I have a strong working relationship with the FIS Race Directors from my many years in my role as Chief of Course at the Lake Louise Alpine Ski World Cup. I was encouraged by them to accept the assignment as TD for the men's Alpine events at the Beijing Olympics and my nomination was subsequently approved by the FIS.
What will be your role there?
I will be acting as the Technical Delegate (TD) for the Men's Alpine events at the Yanqing venue. The TD is a member of the competition Jury along with the Chief of Race and the FIS Race Directors.
What is your ultimate objective in your role?
My objective is to collaborate with the Jury and leadership team at Yanqing to help deliver a high-quality event for the athletes.
Do you have any past Olympic experiences?
I was the Assistant Chief of Course for Men’s events at the Vancouver 2010 Olympics in Whistler.
Beyond Olympics, what are other notable events you’ve been involved with in an official capacity?
I've been part of the Lake Louise World Cup Organizing Committee for the past 20 years. In 2014, I was the Technical Delegate for the Kitzbühel – Hahnenkamm World Cup. In 2015, I was appointed to the Jury for the 2015 FIS Alpine World Championships in Vail/Beaver Creek.
What are you most looking forward to at these Games?
The people! Working with both colleagues and a new Yanqing race organization to overcome new challenges.
What are some of the unknowns or more challenging elements you are preparing for at the Games?
Traveling there during a pandemic is a challenge. It's also a brand new, untested venue.
What do you expect will be different and unlike anything else you’ve been part of in the past?
It’s a new venue in a nation and area that have had limited experience with alpine ski racing events.
Just between us (!), do you get more excited when Canadian athletes ski down the course?
As the TD, I'm supposed to be impartial. But to be honest, yes!
Do you have any special superstitions or good luck charm you’ve brought along with you to China?
The Lake Louise Alpine Ski World Cup belt buckle that I wear with pride.
What is your word of advice for anyone hoping to one day land such a role at Games?
I don't think you'd start by hoping to be the TD at an Olympics! You'd start small by volunteering to help with races at a ski club close to home. For me, I volunteered for many years as the program director at a small ski club in Ontario named Devil's Elbow, beginning when my sons were in the program there. After taking some coaching and officials’ training, I was invited by Bruce Hamstead to come to Lake Louise and join the course crew team for Canada's World Cup events every November. The rest is all about the experience I've gained working with a wonderful team at Lake Louise and during opportunities elsewhere.
What is one thing you’d wish people knew about your role?
It's built on experience and hard physical work. It's not about certificates and it's not really "teachable".
What’s next after Beijing?
I'm returning directly to Panorama, BC where my role will be to act as FIS Technical Advisor to the race organizing committee for the 2022 FIS Alpine World Junior Ski Championships held on home snow.
Your passionate and dedication over all these years are inspiring! What keeps you so engaged in our sport?
I love working outdoors, skiing, and spending time with colleagues who like the same!