Hub athletes on court in Greenland

Volleyball and badminton sees Hay River athletes get first action at 2016 Arctic Winter Games

James McCarthy | Nuuk, Greenland
March 7, 2016

You know when they say someone is itching to go?

That could describe how the athletes were feeling as the 2016 Arctic Winter Games opening ceremony kicked things off in Nuuk on March 6. Delays thanks to weather caused plenty of anxiety but all of Team NWT managed to get in for the opening.

The contingent of athletes, coaches and mission staff was led in by Jacob Klengenberg of Ulukhaktok, who had the honour of carrying in the flag.

“We were expecting kids coming in as late as 3:25 a.m.”
-Doug Rentmeister

Doug Rentmeister, Team NWT’s chef de mission, said everyone who got to the opening ceremony was in before midnight, which was a miracle in itself since several athletes and coaches weren’t expected to arrive until the wee hours of the morning.

Luckily, a good tailwind coming out of Kangerlussuaq, the town where the team flew into to catch their bridge flights into Nuuk, helped push the planes along.

James McCarthy/NNSL photo Tanner Mandeville directs traffic during boys volleyball action at the 2016 Arctic Winter Games in Nuuk, Greenland on March 7.

James McCarthy/NNSL photo
Tanner Mandeville directs traffic during boys volleyball action at the 2016 Arctic Winter Games in Nuuk, Greenland on March 7.

“We were expecting kids coming in as late as 3:25 a.m.,” he said. “We were really surprised that we had such a large team at the opening ceremony. The kids are excited and we’re ready to rock.”

He did admit there was a bit of fear about having a smaller-than-expected contingent to march in but the spirit level would have made up for it.

When it comes to Hay River’s finest, volleyball and badminton is where it was at on day one on March 7. The boys volleyball team, featuring Tanner Mandeville, lost its opening contest to Yukon, 3-0. The first set was the closest of the bunch as the NWT lost in a tiebreak, 26-24.

On the badminton court, Daniel Melanson was in action in the junior boys division but he failed to win any of his three games and finished last in his pool, failing to make the medal round.

Taylor Maurice was also on court in the juvenile girls division and managed to split her matches, winning one and losing one but still good enough to advance to the quarter-finals later in the day on Monday. Her teammate, Riella Bordey, was competing in juvenile girls as well and ended up losing both of her matches and not moving on any further in the competition.