GRANDE PRAIRIE, AB — The Arctic Winter Games is a biennial international sport and cultural event where young athletes and performers from circumpolar regions gather to participate in a variety of sports and showcase their talents.
The first Arctic Winter Games was held in Yellowknife, NWT in 1970 with three contingents coming from Yukon, Northwest Territories and Alaska.
Now, the 21st Arctic Winter Games, which will be held in Grande Prairie, Alberta Mar. 6 to 13, 2010 will welcome participating contingents from Northern Alberta, Northern Quebec, the Yukon, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Alaska, Greenland, the Russian region of Yamal and the Sami Peoples from Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia.
Throughout the history of the games, the direction has never varied. It remains, "to involve as many athletes as possible, either in the Games themselves or in team trials - and to provide a forum of competition for those other than elite athletes with competitive opportunities in the south” though how well southern athletes would do is questionable as the Winter Games also focuses on many of the traditional games of the Northern culture.
Sports like the one- and two-foot high kick, kneel jump, dog sledding and knuckle hop join more recognizable southern winter sports such as alpine skiing, cross-country skiing, hockey, figure skating and curling.
Combined with the sporting aspects, the Winter Games also highlight the varied and unique cultures of the peoples of the North.
Visitors can expect to enjoy performing and visual arts, fashion shows and culinary delights.
Volunteers are also needed, as it is the volunteers who will be not only the backbone of these games, but will ultimately provide the successful platform for the athletes and their cultural counterparts to participate.
If you have the time and the enthusiasm, register today as training sessions begin Jan. 17, 2010.
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