Yukon, N.W.T. pledge to host dropped AWG events

Yukon, Alaska and the Northwest Territories promise to host 2016 Arctic Winter Games events that Greenland can't.

Two territories and Alaska say they'll host the events Greenland can't

Sleddog racing was one of events that was going to be dropped from the 2016 Arctic Winter Games. (CBC)

Other northern jurisdictions will host the six sports being dropped from the 2016 Arctic Winter Games in Greenland. Greenland does not have the facilities to host hockey, curling, figure skating, speed skating, gymnastics and dog mushing.

The Games' international committee met in Vancouver on Sunday to discuss options. It was the first opportunity for political leaders from Greenland, Alaska, Alberta and the three territories to talk over the issue. Yukon Sport Minister, Elaine Taylor, and independent member of the Yukon Legislature, Darius Elias, were there. 

Taylor said Iqaluit made it clear it can't host those sports because it's preparing for the next games. "In 2020 some four years later, they will be in fact hosting the Games and the very fact that the city has also agreed to take up a major capital initiative, a new swimming pool worth some $30-$40 million," she said.  

Taylor said Yukon, the Northwest Territories and Alaska have said they would host a companion event for the excluded sports. A final decision on where won't be made until the end of this month.

The Arctic Winter Games, held every two years, are considered the "northern Olympics." Sport groups, parents and politicians said they're too important to sport development in the North to drop any of the events.