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Calgary cabinet-making student wins big at competition in Russia: ‘It’s totally like the Olympics!’

Calgary student wins big at competition in Russia: ‘totally like the Olympics!’
WATCH: The new school year is off to a very encouraging start for students in one post-secondary program in Calgary. As Gil Tucker shows us, they’re celebrating some well-deserved success on the world stage.

Taylor Desjardins is still pretty pumped about his recent experience at an international competition in Russia.

“It’s totally like the Olympics!” Desjardins said, describing what it was like taking part in a WorldSkills event in Kazan, Russia.

Desjardins is a cabinet making student at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology. He travelled to the competition as a member of Team Canada.

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WorldSkills events happen every two years, featuring competitions between vocational students in a variety of trades.

Desjardins was competing against other young cabinet makers from 30 countries, with limited time to work on their projects.

“The buzzer went and then it was off!” Desjardins said. “Gung-ho, man!”

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Only half of the 30 competitors managed to complete their projects in the allotted time.

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“Everyone’s running around and it was crazy!” Desjardins said. “I finished with zero seconds, that’s how tight it was.”

He returned to Calgary with a Medallion of Excellence. He said his fellow cabinet-making students at SAIT were eager to congratulate him on his achievements.

“It’s very cool to see that one of our classmates can utilize the skills they learned here and take it all the way to Russia!” Joey Johnson said.

His classmates praised Desjardins for the long hours of training he put into preparing for the WorldSkills competition.

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“It’s pretty inspirational to see you make it that far!” Jordan Reynard said.

Desjardins will wrap up his program at SAIT in a few months.

He’s looking forward to life as a professional cabinet maker, a career that won’t really seem like work at all to him.

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“I love doing what I do,” Desjardins said. “When I’m working, I’m completely focused, not paying attention to anything else.”