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Dave Mathieson
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Local McDonalds employee will be serving the world at 2010 Olympics

AMHERST - The world's best bobsledders, biathletes, skiers, skaters and snowboarders will soon converge on Vancouver for the 2010 Olympics, and Springhill's Karen Smith will be there with them.
The Amherst McDonald's employee has been named a member of McDonald's Olympic Champion Crew, which will head to the 2010 Winter Olympic Games to work at one of three on-site McDonald's at the games.
"When I was first selected I was really excited, then I was nervous, thinking 'what have I got myself into,'" said Smith.
"But the closer it gets, the more excited I get."
Smith is one of 300 Canadian McDonald's employees, including 11 from across Nova Scotia, who have been selected to attend the games. The employees were selected from a pool of 77,000 crew members from 1,400 Canadian McDonald's restaurants.
"The manager of our store selected eight people and drew a name and I got picked," said Smith.
Smith will leave at the end of January and will be gone for at least 18 days. She said she has little travel experience.
"I've been to Florida but that was a few years ago," said Smith. "Besides that, the furthest I've gone is New Brunswick and I went to Quebec for a school trip in Grade 7."
Smith, 32, has lived in Springhill her entire life and said the biggest adjustment she will have to make is being away from her kids.
"I have four kids, so I'm sure their father will be lost while I'm gone," said Smith with a laugh.
Her kids are 12-year-old Emilee, seven-year-old Faith, five-year-old Breya and two-and-a-half-year-old Gracin.
"I've never been away from my kids so I don't know if they'll call and say, 'Mommy, come home. We miss you.'"
Smith will work in either downtown Vancouver or at Whistler.
"They haven't told us yet how long we'll be gone or where we will work," said Smith.
"At first I said I'd like to work in downtown Vancouver because there would be more to do on our days off.
"But if you're in Vancouver it's all media, so you'll be waiting on them. If you're in Whistler, you'll be meeting all the athletes, so that would be exciting."
Smith will also get to attend a sporting event.
"Figure skating is probably the thing I like to watch most," said Smith. "Everyone says go watch hockey but I'm not a big hockey fan."
Smith has worked at the Amherst McDonald's for 14 years and serves as a team leader, helping out both management and workers.
Will her team get by without her while she's gone?
"Oh yeah, they'll be fine," said Smith.
"They'll figure it out."
dmathieson@amherstdaily.com

Organizations: McDonald's

Geographic location: Vancouver, Springhill, AMHERST Nova Scotia Whistler Florida New Brunswick Quebec

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