North

New dates set for 2023 Arctic Winter Games

The move to new dates is a "planned and proactive response" to the COVID-19 pandemic, which postpones the games from March 2022 to the following year. 

The 2023 games will be held in Wood Buffalo

Athletes danced and waved along to performances at the closing ceremonies of the 2018 Arctic Winter Games in Hay River, N.W.T. on the evening of March 24, 2018. (Mario DeCiccio/CBC)

The Arctic games set for Wood Buffalo, Alta., has a new date.

The Arctic Winter Games International Committee announced in a news release Tuesday that the event will be held from Jan. 29 to Feb. 4, 2023.

The move is a "planned and proactive response" to the COVID-19 pandemic, which postpones the games from March 2022 to the following year. 

The postponement means the games can include a full sport event calendar, active venues and busy teams.

"We are extremely delighted to have rescheduled the Wood Buffalo Arctic Winter Games," said John Flynn, AWG's president, in a statement.

"We truly miss our northern neighbours and look forward to seeing them again in 2023."

Cross country ski trials for the 2020 Arctic Winter Games occurred Dec. 15, 2019, on Mount McIntyre in Whitehorse. (Stephen Anderson-Lindsay)

Wood Buffalo Arctic Winter Games Co-Chair Melissa Blake said they are confident in the planning and that the upcoming games will be a "safe world-class experience."

"We would like to recognize the continued commitment the Arctic Winter Games International Committee has displayed to our region. It will indeed be our time to shine with the support of our partners, volunteers and our community," read Blake's statement. 

The Arctic Winter Games is held every two years and is an important circumpolar sports and cultural event for youth. Up to 2,000 people participate, with an equal number of volunteers, the release says. 

The rescheduled games will also see an increase to the maximum number of coaching positions.

The new 2023 date does not affect the current bid cycle for the Matanuska Susitna Borough, Alaska 2024 Arctic Winter Games Bid.

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