Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Log Homes and our Olympic Games Connection

The Olympic Games are all about pride for us. Pride in our country and pride in our elite athletes. There is nothing like the feeling of seeing your fellow countrymen and women standing on the podium while your national anthem plays. I’ve always loved watching the Olympic Games; in fact I remember watching one entire summer Olympics dressed in my gymnastic leotard when I was about 12 or so. While I watched I worked at the perfect dismount - arched back and arms up pose.

So you can imagine the thrill I felt when Sitka Log Homes was awarded the contract to build 3 log lodges for the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics in 2002 and then when the BC Government hired us to build a log house, BC Canada Place, for the Torino Winter Olympics in 2006.
Both projects began with a true sense of Olympic competition as we were bidding against other qualified builders. BC Canada Place began as a design/build competition through an RFP (Request for Proposal) and had certain criteria (read: hurdles) and a time deadline to make. Both Olympic projects could not be late…the Games have a start date and nothing can change that.
Our 3 lodges for the Salt Lake Games were on Snowbasin Resort where the Men’s downhill and Super G events were held. The 45,000 sq.ft main day lodge was followed by one 11,000 sq.ft and one 19,000 sq.ft lodge located at about 9,000 ft on the steep side of a mountain. The 3 lodges required 38 semi-loads of large diameter logs delivered to the base of the mountain and then D-7 Caterpillars pulled the logs on a wagon up the steep incline to where the buildings were constructed. Making the job work in such limited space and with a limited time frame was a real challenge.

BC Canada Place faced even greater challenges, the least of which was working in a distant country where the language is foreign. Throw in a truckers strike and rail strike around the time the logs were due to travel across Canada to Montreal where the ship awaited them, further delays with paper work to release the logs in the Italian port of Genoa and that was just beginning of our Olympic building marathon.

Each race was won however, and the rewards were great. We may not have a real Olympic gold medal to show for our efforts but the pride we feel for being a small part of the events makes me feel like arching my back and throwing my arms up.


Anonymous said...

In a word... Outstanding! I know you Sitka people are proud, and from reading the details of this saga you deserve to be!

The buildings look absolutely beautiful and are a testament to your design and building skills. Congrats!

Sitka Log Homes said...

Thanks Montana Tom!