Edmonton man currently immersed in 3rd sports bubble experience

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It’s back to the bubble — again– for one Edmonton man.

Kevin Maher has worked as a freelance television assistant in three sports bubbles: the NHL return-to-play bubble (69 days), the World Juniors bubble (24 days) and currently inside the curling bubble in Calgary.

Read more: 2 events added to curling bubble at Calgary’s Canada Olympic Park

“I am on Day 4 right now,” Maher said Monday. “I’m scheduled to be here until March 15.”

As part of COVID-19 safety protocol, Maher must also get numerous COVID-19 tests throughout his time in each bubble. He estimates he’s had more than 100 swabs.

“It comes with the territory,” he said. “I’d rather know I’m healthy and not spreading anything.”

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Kevin Maher about to get a COVID-19 test in the bubble. Courtesy: Kevin Maher

He stays at a nearby hotel and buses to and from WinSport’s Canada Olympic Park.

“There’s no stopping at the convenience store,” Maher said. “We have to keep that bubble intact. We get on first thing in the morning and come back in the evening.”

Maher said he’s become an expert at passing time, because when you’re in the bubble — there isn’t much to do.

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“I’ve been keeping myself busy. I’m trying to run (my two small businesses) from my hotel room,” he said.

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A small group of people have done all three sports bubbles, Maher explained.

Read more: Maintaining mental health key to living in Edmonton’s NHL bubble

“(Some people) are in their first bubble in Calgary. They lean on us experts,” Maher said. “There is a mental aspect of this that is trying. It’s not fun with the lockdowns and restrictions and everything we have to do to keep safe.”

The television assistant said he is grateful to be working during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I’m glad I can be a part of the team that can bring some distraction and happy vibes to a gloomy time right now,” Maher said. “I’m not counting the days yet, but I do have it circled in my calendar!”

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