Marc Weaver, Deseret News
SALT LAKE CITY — The start of the 2012 Summer Olympics is less than 100 days away, and a Salt Lake woman will be in London for all the festivities, working and directing behind the scenes at the Olympic Stadium.
Amber Walbeck has an interesting job as she's been living outside the United States for the past six years, traveling the world as she works on different sporting venues.
The London Olympics, which run from July 27 to Aug. 12, will be Walbeck's third Olympics, but first summer Olympic Games.
"It's a lot of work right now, but it's fun and that's what you sign up for, right?" Walbeck said. "The people is what makes the job really incredible and interesting."
Walbeck's job this time around is to make sure the London 2012 Olympic Stadium and all the sporting events that take place go smoothly during the Games.
She began her exciting career working in space planning and venue development for the Salt Lake Olympics in 2002.
"It's a very word-of-mouth industry," she said. "You're only as good as your last job."
Word about Walbeck must be pretty good because she went from the Salt Lake Olympics to Vancouver. There, she was responsible for the Pacific Coliseum, where short track and figure skating took center stage.
"We were actually there for all of the ceremonies on the ice," she said. "So, it was very cool because we got to stand there and watch every single medal ceremony."
Following the Vancouver Olympics, Walbeck traveled to Doha, Qatar, for the Asian Cup.
"I was one of two females that were heads of departments," she said. "I don't think the Doha men knew quite how to take us."
Now, it is London. She has been in London for a year and has six more months to go. "Every games, the work part is very stressful, then you get to the games part of it and you say, ‘Oh, this is why we do it.'" Walbeck said. "Opening ceremonies happens and all of the sudden you're seeing the first race."
Walbeck is in game mode right now, working 12-hour days, seven days a week.
“We’re doing all the build out right now,” she said, “so we’re setting up, putting everything just so. Right now I’m doing all of the tents, power installations. Broadcast cabling is happening right now as we speak.”
She expects to work nonstop until the closing ceremonies of the Paralympics Games on Sept. 10. “It’s definitely one of those jobs where you go in the morning and then you look at your watch and it’s like 6 o’clock at night and you go, ‘Oh! Where did the day go?’”
When she finishes up in London, she'll look for another job somewhere else. But Walbeck said she misses Utah and may end up staying when she gets home.
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