Golden Touch For Scheideman
October 1, 2013 | By Patrick Callan
Alberta native takes home top prize in refrigeration and air conditioning category at WorldSkills.
Mike Scheideman struck gold in the refrigeration and air conditioning event at WorldSkills Leipzig 2013 – the lone medal for Canada. And because he scored more points than any of his Canadian teammates in their respective competitions, the 22-year-old also received the Best of Nation award from Team Canada. Overall, 14 of Team Canada’s 35 members received medallions of excellence at WorldSkills.
A day after returning from the competition in Germany, Scheideman was already back to work in his native Grande Prairie, AB, at Albright Refrigeration Ltd. – where he has worked since the age of 14. From a rooftop, still bursting with excitement, he recalled his experience at WorldSkills to HPAC during a telephone interview.
Standing on stage as one of the five finalists, he remembers looking around for his cheering section: parents, grandpa and fiancé. He could not see them, but figured he would definitely hear them if he won. He did not.
“I was cheering so loud I didn’t hear anything,” said the recently minted journeyman from the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology.
The refrigeration and air conditioning competition lasted for 16 hours and involved three timed events in four days, he said. At one point, while well out in front, he noticed a large crowd of people – 10 judges and one long-lensed photographer – gather around him.
“There was a guy leaning over top of where I was working and he put a camera one foot away from my face trying to distract me,” he said. But he managed to block out the distractions by concentrating on the task at hand – and singing. “I sang in my head to keep me (focused) on something else instead of looking around,” laughed Scheideman.
He also surprised himself. Instead of loathing the pressure, like he thought he would, he loved it. “Being under pressure, being stressed and seeing what you’re capable of – that was the best part,” he said.
The experience of competing on the world stage will allow him to approach any job with added confidence, noted Scheideman.
“You learn a lot about yourself when you’re competing like that for four days in your own little bubble,” he said. The six-day event drew more than 1000 competitors from 53 countries/regions – the largest ever for a competition of its kind. www.worldskills.org <>