Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Yellowknife AWG - Day One

It's the end of what has been a full day. I'm about to crash in to bed but I thought I'd upload some pictures from Day One of the trip to the 2008 Arctic Winter Games in Yellowknife.

After the flight from GP to Calgary to Yellowknife we (Mayor Logan, his wife Carol, Kirsten Maher and myself) checked in to the Explorer Inn. The first order of business was to get registered and catch up with members of the 2010 host society who have already been in town learning for a few days. (As an aside, I noticed in the Games newspaper that to this point team Alberta had only managed two medals.)

During a sightseeing tour out on the lake where some events are being held we stopped to take in an ice castle! The white on white contrast in most of the pics doesn't show up well but you can see the detail in the windows behind Kirsten and Lee.

Our first event stop was outdoors joining the crowd of competitors here at the "Snowsnake" competition.

The snowsnake replicates throwing a spear over the ice, as would have been done when hunting seals. For the competition they measure distance that the spear travels.

One of the Alaskan team demonstrated the proper snowsnake form. If you are good at it you can get up to 500 ft in a toss!

Another athlete displays great form as they fire away down the snowsnake course.

I display a snowsnake form that looks a lot more like bowling. My first try the "spear" went about a foot before lodging itself in the snow. On my second try I probably got it about fifteen feet (maybe).

By supper time our little group was getting pretty hungry so we headed to a Yellowknife institution called "Bullocks" (.... hmmmm spelling may be different) Caribou Steaks and Arctic Char fish n' chips were on the menu.

The last competition that Kirsten and I made it to on our first day was the one I was looking forward to the most; the two foot high kick. Unfortunately we couldn't get close to the action and I had to take this pic from behind the arena glass. You can barely make out the "seal" (the little blotch in front of the girl's face) At this point it's probably about 6 feet off the ground.

The reason Kirsten and I couldn't get close was because of the huge crowd! I think people were really excited to see this unique sport. I was blown away too; the jr men's division was won with a kick at SEVEN FEET! The guy might have been 5'9" and he did an extra one making it all the way to 7'2"!!!!

After all this activity there was still one event to go to - the Team Alberta reception. I was really surprised at how many people there that I knew were volunteering as coaches, officials or mission staff. It's great to see so many people involved in making sure kids have an opportunity to participate. The word around the room was the the Alberta athletes had had a great day setting personal bests, Games records and picking up medals in quite a few different sports. Looks like the newspaper will have some more encouraging Alberta results to report tomorrow!

Oh, if you are looking to keep track of the medal count you can go to the Yellowknife Games website here.

So, it's now 12:21 am and I'm off to bed to get ready for Day 2!

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