Team Nunavik–Québec Breaks Two World Records at the 2018 Arctic Winter Games
Kuujjuaq, Québec, March 29, 2018 – The South Slave communities of Hay River and Fort Smith, Northwest Territories, jointly hosted the Arctic Winter Games from March 18 to 24. A total of 52 athletes and three cultural performers represented Nunavik at the Games. They were supported by 10 coaches, eight mission staff and one chaperone.
In addition to the pair of world-record breaking Arctic Sports performances, Team Nunavik–Québec (TNQ) matched the 21 Ulus (Arctic Winter Games medals) won at the 2016 Games in Nuuk, Greenland.
In Open Male Airplane, a competition focused on strength and endurance where each competitor is carried until he is unable to tolerate the pain, Salluit’s Larry Thomassiah’s 56.83 seconds broke the record set in 2016. In Junior Male Kneel Jump, Nathan Saviadjuk, also from Salluit, broke a 30-year-old record by 2.5 in. with his 59.5-in. jump.
Nunavik athletes, known for excellence in Arctic Sports and Dene Games, continued to perform well in both. Despite a number of notable veteran participants being unable to participate, TNQ won 17 of its 21 Ulus (eight gold, eight silver, five bronze) in these sports, as well as two in Snowshoeing and another pair in Table Tennis. TNQ was also awarded seven Fair Play Pins, demonstrating that TNQ athletes fully embraced the Games’ spirit of fair play. Not all athletes won ulus, but they all came away with a life-time of memories.
“The people of the South Slave were amazing hosts. I found it inspiring to see a pair of smaller communities come together to do such a great job hosting such a large event,” said Jennifer Munick, Chairperson of the Kativik Regional Government (KRG). “I’m also proud of our athletes, cultural performers, mission staff and coaches for doing such a great job representing our region.”
During the week, TNQ posted regular photo and video updates to its highly popular Facebook page and offered fans Facebook Live broadcasts to watch the action as it happened. It also kept the region informed through interviews in English and Inuktitut broadcast on local radio stations.
“I am so happy members of TNQ conducted themselves in a manner that Nunavimmiut can be proud of,” said TNQ Chef de Mission Karin Kettler. “Of equal importance, the event helps us encourage healthy lifestyles in all Nunavik communities.”
The KRG would particularly like to thank Raglan Mine (Glencore), Hydro-Québec, Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton, the Makivik Corporation, the Nunavik Regional Board of Health and Social Services, the Ministère de l'Éducation et de l’Enseignement supérieur (education and higher education), as well as all the northern villages for their support and contributions to TNQ.
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Kativik Regional Government
About the Arctic Winter Games
The Arctic Winter Games are a biennial, international sports competition for athletes and cultural participants from Nunavik, Nunavut, the Northwest Territories, Yukon, northern Alberta, Greenland, Alaska, Yamal (Russia) and Sapmi (Scandinavia).
About the Kativik Regional Government
The KRG is a non-ethnic public organization created in 1978, under the James Bay and Northern Québec Agreement. The organization has jurisdiction over nearly the entire territory of Québec north of the 55th parallel in areas such as municipal matters, transportation, the environment, policing, employment, labour training, income security, childcare services, renewable resources, land-use planning, civil security and economic development.
Nunavik sent athletes to the Arctic Winter Games in 1972, 1974, 1976 and from 1986. Since 2000, TNQ has carried on this participation every two years as a guest contingent.