Wood Buffalo Arctic Winter Games launch in Treaty 8

After a five-year delay, athletes are competing again in the Arctic Winter Games 2023.

The games, which occur every two years, were put off because of the pandemic.

The week-long games kicked off Sunday night with the opening ceremonies in Fort McMurray, Alta.

“Ok, this is what you’ve been waiting for,” said John Rodda, president of the Arctic Winter Games international committee. “Everybody, athletes, coaches, officials, mission staff, everybody in the community. The Arctic Winter Games are open.”

While the temperature dropped to -20, that didn’t stop thousands of fans from filling up the stadium to watch athletes from Alaska, Greenland, Sapmi, Norway, Sweden and Canada enter.

Read More: Arctic Winter Games

There is a week of competition in 20 events from alpine skiing, archery, basketball, hockey and northern games including futsal and Dene games.

The evening wrapped up with music from Halluci Nation.

Arctic Winter Games 2023
Halluci Nation perform at the opening ceremony. Photo: Chris Stewart/APTN.

“It was amazing,” said Laila Goodridge, Conservative MP for Fort McMurray-Cold Lake. “We got the fireworks going on behind me. It’s just another example that we are here, and we are ready to shine.”

The Arctic Winter Games 2023 take place until Feb. 4.

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