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Bring your shovel, nose plugs and gloves: The good and bad of Olympic jobs

08/03/2012 04:00 EDT | Updated 10/02/2012 05:12 EDT
LONDON - Like everywhere else, there are good jobs and bad jobs at the Olympics. Here are some tips on when to hold up your hand at an Olympic job fair:

The Good

Holder in rowing and cycling: The people who hold the boats and bike at the start. This particular career path probably starts with rowing, since you lie on your stomach holding onto the boats. In cycling's individual time trial, you have to stand and hold onto the bike from the back. They look very focused but how difficult can it be?

Counter in cycling: The man who stands in front of the bike at the start of the time trial and counts down from five. It's easy — once you get the simultaneously counting and showing of fingers down — and there's good face time on camera.

Picker-upper at track and field: Someone has to pick up Usain Bolt's belongings and cart them off the track after he strips down for the start. What's in your wallet, Usain? On the minus side, you're not going to be able to outrun him.

Sand raker at beach volleyball: There were six of them at one practice, so it's not like you have to do it all yourself. And male or female, the scenery's pretty good.

The bad

Cup-handler at field hockey: Male defensive players protect themselves with masks and cups (not the drinking kind) when they are facing a penalty corner. When the corner's taken, they toss the added protection aside. Someone has to pick it up, although we saw one worker use her foot to move the cups out of the way. Who can blame her?

Equestrian worker: Get a shovel and get going. Must love horses.

Cycling mechanic: Not everyone can fix a bike. And even fewer can do it hanging out of a car at speed while an elite athlete is riding one. But that's what happens during the road race. Better bring an extra screwdriver.

Anything at water polo or shooting (if hung over): Water polo referees sound like they have swallowed their whistle. And shooting is just loud. Sadly, speaking from experience.

— With files from Canadian Press reporters Lori Ewing and Donna Spencer

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