There won’t be any descriptions of our sightseeing exploits today. The entire National Glass Association delegation is still jumping up and down over the success of our American Master Installer Auto Glass Champion Jeff Olive. As reported yesterday, Jeff held a slim lead in the overall standings. We learned this morning the lead was seven points. With Jeff’s specialties of windshield repair and windshield replacement still to come, we were hopeful but not overconfident. All you had to do was look into Jeff’s eyes to see the determination. He was so close, but the Hungarian, Japanese and Danish champions still stood in the way.
Windshield repair went very well for Jeff and he increased his lead by another point. Going into the last event of windshield replacement, it was pretty obvious that the only competitor with a chance to catch Jeff was the young man from Hungary. But it was not to be. Jeff kept the pressure on. At this time, I’m not sure what the final margin of victory was because our entire delegation started yelling and screaming as soon as Jeff’s first name was announced. We didn’t even wait to hear the last name before we drowned out the announcer. Hungary finished second. Denmark and Japan tied for third.
I swear it was like watching Michael Phelps win eight gold medals all wrapped into one. I had a lump in my throat that nearly choked me as the American flags started waving. Without question, this was the most emotional moment in my 25 years of affiliation with our American glass industry. What a proud day for the United States, the National Glass Association, Glasspro, and the entire Olive family. Jeff and Maehing are a delightful, dynamic couple. We enjoyed every moment we spent with them.
As you might expect, Jeff was gracious in victory. He thanked the NGA, his employer Paul Heinauer and his installation partner Randy Layton. Randy was an absolute eagle eye in noticing the small problems that make all the difference in a competition such as this. Details count – big time!
NGA Chairman of the Board Steve Mort did a fantastic job as a contest judge. Actually, all the judges did a great job. A special thanks to Pim de Ridder, managing director of the International Automotive Glass Federation, who organized a very special, well-run event.
Visit GlassMagazine.com for competition results, photo galleries and more.
—By Leo Cyr, vice president of auto glass, National Glass Association