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Nunavut co-hosts the 2002 Games

With events like "knuckle hop", "ear pull" and "sledge jump", the Arctic Winter Games are more than just another international athletic competition. The best of the North compete in ancient native games alongside hockey and curling as part of the biannual event. The Games began in 1970 as a way for folks living north of the 55th parallel to compete on their own turf. It has since evolved into a sporting and cultural extravaganza where throat singers and dog mushers help preserve the distinct northern way of life.

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Canada's northernmost capital city has just successfully co-hosted the 2002 Arctic Winter Games. Iqaluit was home to about 1,600 athletes and spectators from Greenland, the United States and Russia during the biannual weeklong event. Despite the monumental task of preparing for the Games, Canada's newest territory pulled it off smoothly. Organizers tell CBC Radio that they hope the legacy of the Games will resonate beyond the closing ceremony.

They see the money spent on new facilities as a much-needed investment in their youth. Many hope the Games' legacy will lure young Northerners away from drugs and alcohol by instilling in them a sense of pride at having hosted the circumpolar North's largest event. 
• Iqaluit shared the 2002 Arctic Winter Games hosting duties with Nuuk, the capital of Greenland. Iqaluit hosted basketball, dog mushing, Arctic sports, curling, gymnastics, speed skating, hockey and wrestling. The rest of the sports were held in Nuuk.

• Sixteen to 19 sports make up the Arctic Winter Games. To be part of the Games, the sport must be uniquely northern, have wide-ranging participation and be a legitimate winter or summer sport. The sport also should demonstrate potential for development.

• In 2004, the sports of the Arctic Winter Games include:
Alpine skiing
Arctic Sport (Traditional Inuit and Dene games)
Cross-country skiing
Hockey
Badminton
Basketball
Curling
Dog mushing (dog sleds)

Figure skating
Gymnastics
Indoor soccer
Speed skating
Silhouette shooting
Biathlon
Snowshoeing
Table tennis
Volleyball
Wrestling
Snowboarding

• The 18th Arctic Winter Games take place in Wood Buffalo, Alta., from February 28 to March 6, 2004.

• Over 2000 participants representing the Yukon, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Nunavik (in northwestern Quebec), Alaska, Greenland, northern Alberta, the Russian provinces Magadan and Yamal, and the Sami people of northern Scandinavia will take part in the 2004 Games.

• On April 1, 1999, Nunavut became Canada's newest and largest territory.
Medium: Radio
Program: The World This Weekend
Broadcast Date: March 24, 2002
Guests: John Maurice, Debbie McGuire, Peter Moore, Luke Peter, Victor Tutu
Host: Lorna Jackson
Reporter: David Michael Lamb
Duration: 4:51

Last updated: March 17, 2014

Page consulted on September 10, 2014

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