Iqaluit figure skaters add style to Team Nunavut

For the first time, two figure skaters will be among the 279 athletes, coaches and mission staff that Nunavut is sending to the Arctic Winter Games in Alaska.

For the first time, figure skaters will represent Team Nunavut at the Arctic Winter Games

Katie Devereaux, 16, is one of two Iqaluit figure skaters heading to the Arctic Winter Games in Alaska. 'I'd strive for gold but that's everyone's goal right now so I just hope for the best.' (Jeremy Lafonde/CBC)

Katie Devereaux has been skating since she was four years old. She had to stop at age 12 because of a back injury, but two year later, she was back on the ice.

"It feels like it was a part of me and I just have to continue at it," Devereaux says.

Devereaux, 16, recently moved back to Nunavut from Inuvik.

This year, she’ll be one of the first two figure skaters to represent Team Nunavut at the Arctic Winter Games, along with her childhood friend, Jacinta Stringer.

Stringer, 17, says she’s been skating since age 2 and is thrilled to represent Nunavut.

“I’m just so shocked that they've never sent skaters before,” Stringer says. “I just feel really proud that that it's me and Katie."

The girls recently travelled to Ottawa to train for one week with Canadian silver medalist Elizabeth Manley.

On home ice, they have also been working hard with their own coach, Victoria Hann, to get prepared.

“They're my girls and I am extremely proud of them,” Hann says. “It's all about the experience and to have fun and skate their hearts out so we're looking forward to next week’s competition."

Hann hopes this will inspire other communities in Nunavut to start figure skating so they can send skaters to the Arctic Winter Games in the future.

Though it’s a first for Nunavut, these girls are ready, and both have their eyes on the podium.

“I'd strive for gold but that's everyone's goal right now so I just hope for the best,” Devereaux says.

“It would be very nice to to bring home a gold medal,” says Stringer, “but if not, then I just wanna be able to come home and think, ‘Okay, I’m proud of that performance and I did try my best.’”