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Apprentices compete in BCIT Ironworking Olympics

BURNABY (NEWS1130) – Eleven apprentice iron workers at BCIT took over campus Saturday as they competed in the Ironworking Olympics for a chance to represent BC at the Western Regional Competition, and possibly move on to National and International events. Chief Instructor Bill Watkins says there were eight events–but the crowd favorite was the “Column Climb,” where competitors scaled a beam using only their bare hands and boots.

“And the individuals are tied on with fall protection equipment, and they climb the face of the column and ring a bell at an elevation of 40 feet in the air.”

Watkins says there’s more incentive than just competition: “First, second and third individuals this year will receive over a thousand dollars each in equipment and supplies.”

Among the other event was steel cutting into shapes shown in a drawing, steel tying and ornamental aluminum framing.

While the event allows for up to sixteen participants, only eleven registered this year because of work prospects and availability.