|« super wintertime....... wow Winterzeit.....||*Sprache*....*language*.....understandings ........ :-) »|
What do Nunavat, Nunavik, Sami, Yamal, Greenland, Alberta, Northwest Territories, the Yukon and Alaska have in common? They are all part of the Circumpolar North and teams from these countries, territories, and states will descend upon the Kenai Peninsula for the Arctic Winter Games beginning this weekend. Expected are over 2,000 athletes with their coaches, families, and friends.
The Arctic Winter Games (AWG) are unique to the peoples of the North. It takes place every two years for one week in March. They are held in Canada, Alaska, or Greenland. The logo is three interlocking rings that symbolize the three purposes for the event: Athletic Competition, Cultural Exhibition, and Social Interchange.
The games began when it was realized that contestants from Canada’s northern territories were defeated by those from the southern Canadian provinces because they had better training facilities, sponsors and other forms of support. It started in 1970 with a goal of offering appropriate levels of competition for northern athletes who had limited access to facilities and training opportunities. In 1990 athletes form Russia joined the games, too.
Athletic competition for sports such as: snowboarding, alpine skiing, basketball, table tennis, badminton, dog mushing, Nordic skiing, snowshoeing, snowshoe biathlon, ski biathlon, volleyball, figure skating, indoor soccer, curling, gymnastics, speed skating, and the amazing Dene and Inuit Games intertwined with the cultural events will be part of the games. Much like the “other” Olympics, the competition will be fierce as each athlete strives to do their best to win the gold, silver, or bronze Ulu for that event. Coaches and cultural delegates also win ulus for their commitments to excellence. This ulu is modeled on the all-purpose knife traditionally used by the Inuit people.
My husband and one of the twins are two of 2800 volunteers helping with the Games. They will be doing security. School gymnasiums have been turned into staging areas for the events and classrooms have been transformed into dormitories. School cafeterias will be utilized for meals. The peninsula’s school kids have begun an early spring break. From Mt. Alyeska in Girdwood (40 miles south of Anchorage) to Homer, trails have been groomed, the sport’s center has been readied and some new buildings and other improvements (?) have been created for this event. Also, homeland security or one of those federal agencies has been putting cameras on top of the schools and wherever else someone might need protection (or so homeland security wants to feel necessary).
I’m staying put, but will watch some of the highlights on the television and wait for everybody to leave so I can shop and walk in relative peace. Yes, I like my peace and quiet even though I do applaud the competitors. I just wish they’d do their thing in somebody else’s back yard. I’m seriously thinking of putting the house up for sale and moving to a village about 40 miles from here.
I’ve got to work on dinner. It is just leftovers tonight; Crockpot chicken, carrots, rice and spinach. It was really good the first time and should be even better now that the flavors have had time to blend well.
Next time I’ll give you some info about the Iditarod race beginning this weekend. It is a 1,150 sled dog race to Nome. Then there was the snowshoe softball game in Anchorage a few days ago, too.
Take care. Till next time…