Fairbanks wins the bid for the 2014 Arctic Winter Games

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Let’s face it: here in Fairbanks, our favorite winter activities include sports, culture, community spirit and good old-fashioned competition. So it’s no surprise that when the International Committee of the Arctic Winter Games visited last year to measure the level of enthusiasm and support we had for the circumpolar sporting event, they declared our city the host of the 2014 games. The committee also toured places such as the Birch Hill Recreational Area where the cross-country skiing and biathlon events would be held. This will be the sixth time Alaska has hosted the games since the first competition was held in Yellowknife, NTW in 1970.

The games provide an opportunity for the circumpolar regions of the globe to celebrate the sports of their communities, offering athletes the chance to exchange with other athletes from northern regions. The games bring nearly 2,000 athletes, coaches and cultural delegates from Alaska, Greenland, Yamal, Russia, the Sami of northern Scandinavia and the Canadian jurisdictions of Yukon, Northern Alberta, Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Nunavik Quebec.

The sporting events range from the common — alpine skiing, biathlon-ski, and cross country skiing — to the lesser known: Dene tribal games, dog sledding and other cultural events. The Chipewyan or Denesuline are part of the Dene tribal group of Athapascan Indians and are the most widespread tribe in Canada. The Dene games feature skills needed for survival while living off the land, hunting and fishing.

If you are interested in previewing a little bit of the action in anticipation for 2014, the next Arctic Winter Games is being held in Whitehorse, Yukon in 2012, just a day’s drive from Fairbanks.

The Arctic Winter Games are a biennial celebration that has grown to include more than 2,000 athletes. So start planning your trip and join us for the 2014 Arctic Winter Games in Fairbanks!

Tags: Fairbanks, sports