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The Games are on! Yukon, N.W.T. and Nunavut athletes in Alaska for Arctic Winter Games 2024

Athletes arrive at the Anchorage airport for the 2024 Arctic Winter Games on March 9. (Sarah Xenos/Radio-Canada - image credit)
Athletes arrive at the Anchorage airport for the 2024 Arctic Winter Games on March 9. (Sarah Xenos/Radio-Canada - image credit)

Athletes from across Canada's North are in Mat-Su Valley, Alaska, this week to compete in the Arctic Winter Games.

The event began Sunday afternoon with opening ceremonies, where teams were welcomed to the region.

CBC North is in Alaska to cover the games this week. We had live updates from our reporters throughout Sunday evening, curated by Sarah Krymalowski.

7:30 p.m. MT: And that is a wrap on our live blog for the Arctic Winter Games opening ceremonies. Thank you to all our reporters there for the updates!

CBC North will have AWG coverage all week on TV on Northbeat and Igalaaq, on the web, on radio, and on social media. Stay tuned!

The opening cremony for the 2024 AWGs is over, but the games have just begun.
The opening cremony for the 2024 AWGs is over, but the games have just begun.

The opening cremony for the 2024 AWGs is over, but the games have just begun. (Jackie McKay/CBC)

 

7:11 p.m. MT: The Arctic Winter Games have officially begun!

 

7:01 p.m. MT: Athletes pledge recited by all participants on the arena floor: "In the name of all participants I pledge to embrace the Arctic Winter Games in the spirit of fair play and cultural exchange. Respecting the decisions that govern them and celebrating the honour and excellence of our teams."

6:50 p.m. MT: Update from Peter Sheldon: Governor General Mary Simon addresses the crowds gathered with a nod to the resilience of Northern Peoples. "Ajuinata - it means 'never to give up!'"

From Jackie McKay: She went on to say "We will never give up as a people in the circumpolar north."

Governor General Mary Simon addresses the crowd during the opening ceremonies.
Governor General Mary Simon addresses the crowd during the opening ceremonies.

Governor General Mary Simon addresses the crowd during the opening ceremonies. (David Gunn/CBC)

 

6:46 p.m. MT: Lawrence Nayally and Pauline Pemik live from the AWG opening ceremonies! Pauline will be on Igalaaq all week sharing stories for Inuit back home. Lawrence will be hosting a daily radio special for N.W.T. and Yukon all week on Trail's End and Airplay.

6:35 p.m. MT: Formerly known as Team Greenland, Team Kalaallit Nunaat is reclaiming their identity. They're now going by their own name in their own language. We will have more on this story later this week.

Members of Team Kalallit Nunaat posed for a picture just before the opening ceremonies this afternoon.
Members of Team Kalallit Nunaat posed for a picture just before the opening ceremonies this afternoon.

Members of Team Kalallit Nunaat posed for a picture just before the opening ceremonies this afternoon. (Peter Sheldon)

 

6:29 p.m. MT: AWG participants watch speakers on the podium at the opening ceremonies, from Jackie McKay.

6:10 p.m. MT: Team Alaska, this year's host team, was last to file in at the opening ceremonies.

6:00 p.m. MT: The AWG 2024 opening ceremonies have officially started! Watch the livestream here on CBC's page by pressing play on the video at the top of the story.

5:55 p.m. MT: And from Peter Sheldon, a picture of some of the mascots in their full costumes.

Some AWG 2024 mascots in full costume. The chickadee is the official ambassador animal for the games this year.
Some AWG 2024 mascots in full costume. The chickadee is the official ambassador animal for the games this year.

Some AWG 2024 mascots in full costume. The chickadee is the official ambassador animal for the games this year. (Peter Sheldon/CBC)

 

5:49 p.m. MT: From Jackie McKay, a photo of some Arctic Winter Games opening ceremony mascots.

Some AWG Mascots pose for a picture before the opening ceremonies.
Some AWG Mascots pose for a picture before the opening ceremonies.

Some AWG Mascots pose for a picture before the opening ceremonies. (Jackie McKay/CBC)

 

5:41 p.m. MT: From Peter Sheldon: Team Nunavik chanting above the crowd at the athletes stage in advance of opening ceremonies.

 

5:34 p.m. MT: From Virginie Ann: Canada's Governor General Mary Simon greets Yukon Commissioner Adeline Webber and Nunavut Commissioner Eva Aariak before taking on the stage at the opening ceremony.

Canada's Governor General Mary Simon (middle) poses for a picture with Nunavut Commissioner Eva Aariak (left) and Yukon Commissioner Adeline Webber.
Canada's Governor General Mary Simon (middle) poses for a picture with Nunavut Commissioner Eva Aariak (left) and Yukon Commissioner Adeline Webber.

Canada's Governor General Mary Simon (middle) poses for a picture with Nunavut Commissioner Eva Aariak (left) and Yukon Commissioner Adeline Webber. (Virginie Ann/CBC)

 

5:28 p.m. MT: From CBC's Virginie Ann: Grand Chief of the Council of Yukon First Nations Peter Johnston, who came not only as the grand chief, but to support his daughter who will be competing, talks about the importance of keeping the tradition of the Arctic Winter Games alive.

 

5:24 p.m. MT: From Cheryl Kawaja: The girls U-15 futsal team from Nunavut had three days to practice together before flying to Alaska.

Team members are from all over the territory including: Whale Cove, Baker Lake, Coral Harbour, Rankin Inlet and Iqaluit.

Nunavut U-15 futsal players Sienna dyer Dunphy, Geena Veevee-Kootoo, Isabella Netser say they are excited to see how they play as a team.
Nunavut U-15 futsal players Sienna dyer Dunphy, Geena Veevee-Kootoo, Isabella Netser say they are excited to see how they play as a team.

Nunavut U-15 futsal players Sienna dyer Dunphy, Geena Veevee-Kootoo, Isabella Netser say they are excited to see how they play as a team. (Cheryl Kawaja/CBC)

 

5:06 p.m. MT: From CBC's Peter Sheldon: Robin Catholique and Reanna Brownlee from N.W.T. are getting a jump on the pin trading. They snapped up a Radio-Canada pin and are most fond of their Every Child Matters pin from the 2023 Wood Buffalo Games. Pin trading is an unofficial sport at this event. Such a helpful icebreaker for kids meeting new friends.

Robin Catholique and Breanna Brownlee from N.W.T. show off their pin collections.
Robin Catholique and Breanna Brownlee from N.W.T. show off their pin collections.

Robin Catholique and Reanna Brownlee from N.W.T. show off their pin collections. (Peter Sheldon/CBC)

 

4:56 p.m. MT: From Jackie McKay: We got fans outside waiting to come! Some from close by like Anchorage, Alaska, and others like Nancy Heart from Baker Lake, Nunavut.

 

4:48 p.m. MT: From CBC's Peter Sheldon: Some high profile guests are at the Menard sports centre for the AWG opening ceremonies this afternoon, like this trio, playfully coined the "three amigos" by N.W.T. Commissioner Margaret Thom.

Commissioners for all three territories in Canada pose for a picture. NWT Commissioner Margaret Thom (left), Yukon Comssioner Adeline Webber (middle) and Nunavut Commissioner Eva Aariak (right).
Commissioners for all three territories in Canada pose for a picture. NWT Commissioner Margaret Thom (left), Yukon Comssioner Adeline Webber (middle) and Nunavut Commissioner Eva Aariak (right).

Commissioners for all three territories in Canada pose for a picture. NWT Commissioner Margaret Thom (left), Yukon Comssioner Adeline Webber (middle) and Nunavut Commissioner Eva Aariak (right). (Peter Sheldon/CBC)

 

4:25 p.m. MT: An update from CBC's Jackie McKay: An army of volunteers are filling the parking lot at the Menard sports centre for the opening ceremony of the Arctic Winter Games.

 

4:15 p.m. MT: Everything's bigger in Alaska!

Members of the N.W.T. Futsal team practicing before the opening ceremonies, in advance of their first matches this evening.

The N.W.T. futsal team gets some practice in on Sunday before the AWG opening ceremonies.
The N.W.T. futsal team gets some practice in on Sunday before the AWG opening ceremonies.

The N.W.T. futsal team gets some practice in on Sunday before the AWG opening ceremonies. (Peter Sheldon/CBC)

 

4:00 p.m. MT: Team NT has announced its flagbearers for the opening ceremonies tonight. Athletes Keira Coakwell from Hay River and Sean Grandjambe from Fort Smith will be representing the team. Congrats to them both!

3:39 p.m. MT: From reporter Lawrence Nayally, some interviews with athletes and volunteers at the Anchorage airport yesterday. If you want to see more of our video coverage for the AWGs, check out our TikTok acount @cbcnorth.

 

2:57 p.m. MT: Our CBC reporter team is in Alaska capturing the lead up to the AWG opening ceremonies tonight. To get the day started, here are some shots of the athletes arriving at the Anchorage International Airport in Alaska yesterday.

A member of Team Nunavut shows off his team jacket.
A member of Team Nunavut shows off his team jacket.

A member of Team Nunavut shows off his jacket. (Sarah Xenos/Radio-Canada)

Some members of Team NT peruse the snack options laid for arriving athletes at the airport.
Some members of Team NT peruse the snack options laid for arriving athletes at the airport.

Some members of Team NT peruse the snack options laid for arriving athletes at the airport. (Sarah Xenos/Radio-Canada)