James McCarthy | Nuuk, Greenland
March 8, 2016
It’s off and running for the Inuvik contingent at the 2016 Arctic Winter Games in Nuuk, Greenland.
Most of the athletes and coaches managed to get in on time for the start of the opening ceremony on March 6. The start time was pushed back to 8 p.m. local time because nearly everyone was stranded in Kangerlussuaq or still waiting to even get into the country.
All of Team NWT had to take bridge flights from Kangerlussuaq into Nuuk and Air Greenland managed to nearly pull off the miracle of having everyone on the ground in time. Alas, some athletes and coaches didn’t arrive into Nuuk until after the opening ceremony but in time to begin their sports.
One athlete who did get in on time was Jacob Klengenberg of Ulukhaktok, who had the honour of carrying the NWT flag into the opening ceremony.
Doug Rentmeister, Team NWT’s chef de mission, said everyone 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 helped push the planes along.
“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.
“I’ve jumped further, but I’m still happy with that.”
There have been plenty of Inuvik athletes who have posted decent results as of press time.
The boys basketball team, which features Liam Larocque, beat Nunavut in its first game, 81-41, but lost to Alaska in its second tilt, 80-62.
Arctic sports also featured some Inuvik content as Britney Selina competed in the open women’s kneel jump on March 8, finishing 16 th. James Day was in the open men’s kneel jump and ended up in sixth place while Chris Church ended up in 17 th.
Day said he simply did as well as he could have.
“My jumps went pretty good,” he said. “There’s some really good athletes here. I’m right around my comfort zone so it’s good. I’ve jumped further, but I’m still happy with that.”
When you bring all the athletes of the circumpolar region together you’re going to have a good show.
Hockey is being played in Iqaluit and the girls team features Darcie Setzer and Shannon Baetz from Inuvik. The girls managed to win their first game thanks to a 4-2 decision over Alberta North on March 7. They were set to play Yukon the next day but that had to be postponed due to inclement weather on game day.
Wrestling featured River Ross and he was in action on March 8 with his teammates for the mixed team competition and the best way to describe it would be decisive. Team NWT was outmatched in every single bout and ended up sixth overall, scoring just one point overall in five duels.