The Arctic Winter Games came to an end Feb. 4 after thrilling performances from participating teams, but it was Team Yukon that stood out in both individual and team performances.
At the final count, the team topped the medals chart with 169 medals – 61 gold, 56 silver and 52 bronze medals. Team Alaska came second place with 145 medals – 58 gold, 44 silver and 43 bronze medals while Team Alberta North secured 144 medals, just one piece below their counterparts from Alberta with 42 gold, 60 silver and 42 bronze medals.
Sampi finished at the bottom of the medals table with five gold, 12 silver and nine bronze medals, bringing their tally to 26.
A lot of memories and friendship were made, pins traded and success achieved, Team Yukon said in a statement.
On the last day of the games, Team Yukon ended the competition on high note, scooping medals.
In the 3×3 kilometre relays for the U18 girls cross country ski team; Sophia Giangrande, Abigail Jirousek, and Cheyenne Tirschmann won a gold medal. The U16 boys team of Simon Connell, Daniel Phillips-Freedman and Jan Zumer-Brewis won gold and the U14 team of Emily Kralisch-Seguin, Sian Hamilton and Maura Gallant skied to a silver. The U14 male team of Nicolas Giangrande, Peter Sandiford, and Finnian Hanley also earned a silver ulu.
The cross country ski team also earned four ulus in the sprint classic on Feb. 3, day six of the competition.
The men’s basketball team won a gold ulu with an 81-74 victory to wrap up their participation at the competition. their counterparts from Alberta North tried a comeback but the Yukon team’s defense was impenetrable.
The women’s basketball team also won gold ulu in their contest against Alberta North. On Feb. 3, the female team had earned a berth in the gold medal game by taking down the Northwest Territories.
The boys’ basketball team won gold over Alberta North with an 81-75 win. The team had punched their ticket to the gold ulu game with a 72-64 win over the N.W.T. on Feb. 3.
Team Yukon’s statement said the Alberta North team created a lot of chances but tried unsuccessfully to get past a tough opponent as they took the silver medal.
The mixed doubles curling event paired curlers with teammates from other contingents. Team Yukon’s Nathan Iskra paired with Reese from the N.W.T. and the duo won a bronze medal.
The juvenile girls’ futsal team played for gold on the final day of the competition, but ended up winning a silver ulu on the final day of the competition.
The juvenile boys’ hockey team went into overtime against Nunavut in the bronze medal game after a 3-3 tie at the end of regulation time with Nunavut scoring the game winner.
In the placement match for the fifth and sixth positions on the final day, the women’s volleyball team defeated Nunavut 3-0 to place fifth.
Team Yukon secured more medals on Feb. 3, the penultimate day of the end of the competition.
Callie Quaile, Zoe Leas, Jordan MacDonald, Sophie Drummond, Cassie Cebuliak, Sophia Leas, Alia Drummond, Taylor Bierlmeier, and Rachel Kormendy scored for the female hockey team as they downed Alaska 11-2 to earn the bronze ulu.
The juvenile male futsal team defeated Alaska 3-2 to earn the bronze ulu. Elliott Whalen, Noah Lapierre and Micah Boland scored the goals.
Alayna Mortimer, Genevieve Lefebvre, Chloe Tatsumi and Aubree Hombert had great performances for the gymnastics team in individual events. Lefebvre found the podium twice, earning bronze on floor and bars while Mortimer took the silver.
Glade Roberts and Christopher Tom Tom earned the bronze ulu in badminton’s junior male doubles event. Winnie Zhang kept the game close but came up just short in the juvenile girls’ bronze ulu match, Team Yukon said.
The snowboard team raced down the hill on Feb. 3, their last day of competition. Courtney Stevens and Seamus MacDonald took silver in the snowboard cross and Connor Boland earned a bronze ulu.
Every Team Yukon snowshoer found the podium on their last day of competition. Avery Kinsella and Taiga Buurman won gold, Mathias Frostad earned silver while Johanne Benkert, Jaime Chown Chaikel and Dredyn Kassi won bronze.
Meanwhile, the biathlon ski and snowshoe teams finished their final day of competition with a total of 14 ulus.
The Arctic Sports team competed in the sledge jump on their final day of competition. Amélie Guilbeault blew away the competition in the junior female category by jumping over 99 sledges compared to her closest competitor Monica Fleischer of Greenland who jumped 55. Junior male Devyn Rollins also had a good day and placed fifth, officials said.
The table tennis team completed their singles tournament on Feb. 3. They had close matches in the quarter-finals but didn’t make it to the semis.
In speed skating, Kieran Horton won gold, Lisa and Greg Freeman each won silver, and Lucas Taggart-Cox brought home a bronze from their events. The team wrapped up their final day on Feb. 3 with the 3000m relay.
In archery, gold ulus went to Mitchell Rudolph for the individual barebow along with compound archer Hayden Wallace in individual compound. Emmett Kapaniuk shot for silver in individual compound while Juliette Greetham and Harrison Dolding earned bronze ulus in the junior barebow.
Team Yukon said the wrestlers spent Feb. 3 learning how to Inuit wrestle and the respective wrestling teams competed in an exhibition afterward.
The Dene Games team wrapped up their day with the pole push with the junior girls pushing their way to a bronze medal. Team Nanuvik won gold while Alberta North earned a silver medal.
The men’s volleyball team gave their best, but couldn’t get past Alberta North in the gold medal game with a final score of 3-0, which brought them home the silver ulu.
The junior boys’ futsal team couldn’t find the equalizer against Sapmi to fall 4-3. They played the N.W.T. for bronze, taking the medal with a 7-1 win on Feb. 3.
The junior girls’ futsal team dropped their semi-final game 4-0 to Alberta North. They played Sampi for the bronze in the evening on day 6 of the competition and lost 3-1.
Team Yukon said the evening culminated in the closing ceremonies which officially marked the end of this year’s games. Arctic Sports athlete Amélie Guilbeault led Team Yukon into the final farewell parade.
Contact Patrick Egwu at firstname.lastname@example.org