A contingent of Alaskans is traveling to Greenland to participate in the Arctic Winter Games. Alaska’s is one of 9 regional teams descending on the northern nation’s capital of Nuuk for next week’s games. As KUAC’s Dan Bross reports, the remote Arctic city is going all out to host them.
Novoye Chaplino - This time of year, indigenous people across the Far North gather to play games and celebrate traditions. Earlier this month, in Fairbanks the took part in the World Eskimo Indian Olympics. There was also a gathering of people from across the Circumpolar north in Inuvik, Canada. This year, native people from Arctic nations joined Russia’s Chukchi and Inuit peoples for the first ever Beringia Arctic Games. It was the largest gathering of it’s kind in a once forgotten corner of the world called Chukotka.
The Arctic Winter Games ended Saturday, a week after they began here in Fairbanks. Most of the 2,000 athletes that came here from circumpolar nations left that night, along with the 3,000-some staff, family, fans and others who came along for the show.
It was a stunning weeklong show of hundreds of competitive and cultural events that combined such games as hockey and basketball with traditional indigenous contests such as the high-kick and knuckle-hop.
Team Alaska’s athletes were the top medal-winners of the nine contingents that competed in the Games, winning190 medals total, 67 of which were gold. Team Yamal, from Russia, was second with 134 total, 55 gold; followed by Team Alberta North with 125 total, 42 gold.
Team Greenland won the Hodgson Trophy, which is awarded to the team that best demonstrates fair play and team spirit.
Today is the final day of the Arctic Winter Games, and Team Alaska remains at the top medal standings, followed by Team Yamal and Alberta North. Team Alaska brought its tally to 62 gold Friday night when its junior girls hockey team bested Alberta North, 1 to nothing.
Today is Day 5 of the Arctic Winter Games, and the tempo and intensity of competition is at its peak. Overall, Team Alaska widened its lead over Team Yamal Thursday. As of this morning, the Alaskans had 124 total medals and 35 gold; compared with Yamal’s 88 total and 32 gold. Team Alberta North also has 32 golds, and 71 total.
More medals-round games are set for today and Saturday, the last day of competition. Team Alaska’s junior girls basketball and hockey teams will be among those going for the gold, along with the junior Alaska boys basketball squad. The teams earned their way into the championships Thursday.