Iqaluit eyes 2020 Arctic Winter Games host job

At a meeting this week, Iqaluit city councillors decided to formally express an interest in hosting the 2020 Arctic Winter Games.

City last hosted sporting event in 2002

The City of Iqaluit wants to host the 2020 Arctic Winter Games.

Councillors decided at a meeting this week to formally express an interest in hosting the games. Amy Elgersma, Iqaluit’s recreation director, told CBC News the decision is very exciting.

"Now the government of Nunavut is submitting a report to the international committee indicating Nunavut’s interest in hosting the games and also to demonstrate our ability to host the games," said Elgersma.

Northwest Territories athlete Kate Bolivar (8) shoots to win the junior female three kilometer sprint snowshoe biathlon Wednesday March 8, 2006, during the 2006 Arctic Winter Games in Soldotna, Alaska. The City of Iqaluit is looking to host the 2020 games. (Matt Hage/The Associated Press)

Elgersma said it takes time and planning in order to pull off an international event like the Arctic Winter Games.

It’s also exciting news for Iqaluit speed skater Akeeshuk Beauchesenes, who is 10. He’s had dreams of qualifying for the Arctic Winter Games in 2020 and looks forward to the possibility of competing in his hometown.

"I would find it pretty nice because everybody in my family’s going to be watching me," he said.

The North’s best athletes last competed in Iqaluit in 2002 when the city co-hosted with Nuuk, Greenland.

The City of Whitehorse is currently gearing up to host the games this year. They bring youth from around the circumpolar region together every two years to compete in winter sports and traditional games.