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WorldSkills 2017 in Abu Dhabi: Ready for take-off

Debrunner Acifer WorldSkills Competitions 2017 SwissSkills Team

Sunday morning, Zurich Airport, Gate E52: Thirty-eight young women and men are ready to board Flight EY 74 to Abu Dhabi. The SwissSkills Team is on the way to the 44th WorldSkills Competitions, held this time around in the United Arab Emirates. As soon as they arrived in the desert metropolis, some competitors of the SwissSkills Team had to give their first interviews.

Ramona Bolliger, a 21-year-old baker/pastry chef is sitting on her big black suitcase. She has been preparing for this moment for almost a year and can’t believe it’s finally here: “I’m so excited that I feel like a little kid.” Decorative painter Sandra Lüthi is likewise ready for boarding. In her luggage she’s carrying her expensive paintbrushes she has been practising with right to the end.

Debrunner Acifer WorldSkills Competitions 2017 SwissSkills Team

Polymechanic Marco Michel also has some tools with him that he didn’t include in the air freight shipment of his 100,000 francs worth of equipment. He feels well-prepared and isn’t nervous quite yet. And he’s enjoying the cool air here in Switzerland for the last few moments. «The climate conditions in Abu Dhabi, with constant switching back and forth between the heat outside and the air-conditioned halls, will likely be a bit of a challenge.»

At half past seven in the evening, the machine lands on schedule in Abu Dhabi. Now the experts can get to work preparing for the competitions while the competitors join their team leaders in the Pre Camp and start to get acclimated to their new surroundings. But beforehand, a few of the Swiss vocational professionals already had to step in front of the cameras and microphones of the international media and give their first interviews.