Nunavik to send team of 88 to Alaska next month

Team Nunavik to send its largest contingent to 2014 Arctic Winter Games


KRG's Ben Whidden, left and Nancianne Grey model Team Nunavik's new parkas for the 2014 Arctic Winter Games. (PHOTO BY SARAH ROGERS)

KRG’s Ben Whidden, left and Nancianne Grey model Team Nunavik’s new parkas for the 2014 Arctic Winter Games. (PHOTO BY SARAH ROGERS)

KUUJJUAQ — Nunavik will send its largest-ever contingent to this year’s Arctic Winter Games, which will kick off in Fairbanks, Alaska next month and run from March 15 to March 22.

Team Nunavik-Québec’s chef de mission, Nancianne Grey, on Feb. 24 announced the 62 athletes and 26 coaches and cultural performers who will make up the team this year, including a new group of eight female cross-country skiers.

Cross-country skiing is the sixth and newest sport that Nunavik will compete in, in addition to badminton, table tennis, Arctic sports, Dene games and snowshoeing.

From March 15-22, Nunavik will compete against athletes from northern Canada and the circumpolar world, including Alaska, Greenland, Sapmi (Scandinavia) and Yamal (Russia).

One of the games’ smallest contingents, Nunavik came home from the 2012 winter games with 36 medals, or ulus — 11 of them gold and one world record.

“We’re hopeful that we’ll do very well (this year),” said Grey. “But we also know we have a lot of younger athletes that we’re still developing. For some of them, this will be their first (games).”

Grey modeled Team Nunavik-Québec’s 2014 parkas for the Kativik Regional Government’s regional council Feb. 24, a fitted black and green jacket designed by Nunavik Creations.

“We wanted to have something that was a little more distinct to Nunavik style, so we have a point on the hood,” Grey said.

Team Nunavik will get a chance to show off some of its other culture: they’ll be accompanied by the Kangiqsujuaq Brazilian Drummers, a group of five young musicians who will perform on behalf of the region at the games.

Dene sports athlete Edua Jones from Inukjuak has been chosen as Nunavik’s flagbearer at the games’ opening and closing ceremonies.

Grey said Jones was chosen because he is a veteran athlete who has done a lot of training with younger athletes in Inukjuak.

Alongside Grey, Ben Whidden will also replace former KRG staffer Valerie Rykhoff as Team Nunavik’s assistant chef de mission during the 2014 games.

For a full list of Nunavik’s 2014 contingent, visit the Team Nunavik Facebook page.

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