For the purposes of this section, the terms defined in this subdivision shall have the meanings here given them:
(a) "public employee" has the meaning given it in section 179A.03;
(b) "team" includes any group leader, coach, official or athlete who comprise the official delegation of the United States to world or Olympic competition.
A public employee who qualifies as a member of a United States team for athletic competition on the world championship, Pan American, or Olympic team in a sport sanctioned by the International Olympic Committee, may be granted a leave of absence without loss of pay or other benefits or rights for the purpose of preparing for and engaging in the competition. In no event shall the paid leave under this section exceed the period of the official training camp and competition combined or 90 calendar days a year, whichever is less.
If the public employee granted the leave is an employee of a school district, university system or other political subdivision, the employer is responsible for the actual cost of employing a substitute.