Two N.W.T. Olympians gifted gloves and moccasins
Michael Gilday and Brendan Green receive handmade gifts beaded with territorial crest
Speed skater Michael Gilday and biathlete Brendan Green have each been given a pair of handmade gloves and moccasins — gifts from the territorial government.
It's a gesture to bring the athletes luck, but also to draw attention to one of the territory's oldest industries.
"They are absolutely gorgeous," says speed skater Michael Gilday. "Just having them with me will remind me of where I am from and remind me of the people at home that are supporting me and encouraging me all the way to the finish line,"
The territory commissioned three artists from Deline, N.W.T. to make the gifts.
Gina Neyelle was one of them. She says many people in Deline wanted to get a close up look at the gifts and touch them for good luck.
Francois Rossouw hopes others around the globe admire them as well. He markets the territory's Genuine Mackenzie Valley fur label and was surprised to find out Team Canada's uniforms, made by The Hudson's Bay Company, don't include fur.
"I found that really insulting considering that Canada is the largest wild fur producing country in the world," says Rossouw.
But people won't be able to spot the gifts on television. The athletes are only allowed to wear clothing provided by Team Canada's sponsors to media events.
Gilday plans to show them off during his down time in the athletes' village.
"It's good for people to realize that traditional economies are still going strong and being practised in responsible ways," he says.