Yukon sports teams are raking in the medals this week at the 2016 Arctic Winter Games in Nuuk, Greenland.
But no Yukon team has seen in increase in success from the last Arctics to this week’s Games as mush as the wrestling team.
“Our goal coming to Greenland was two medals, increasing our count from previous Games. I am pleased beyond belief at how well the team is doing,” said coach Rob Langmaid in an email to the News.
“This year’s Yukon wrestlers have a natural fight in them, combined with a willingness to learn, that has made all the difference.”
Every single member of Yukon’s wrestling team won at least one medal this week, bringing the total to 12. That’s 11 more than at the 2014 Games and twice as many Yukon has won in wrestling in the previous five Arctic Games combined.
The team also won the first medal in freestyle wrestling since the 2012 Games and its first team medal – a bronze in the junior female competition – since … well, it’s been so long, it’s hard to say for sure.
In addition to the team medal, all three female wrestlers won two medals for individual competition.
Whitehorse’s Emi Teramura was the only on the team to pocket two silver ulus. The 14-year-old placed second in the up-to-55 kilogram division and in the Inuit wrestling for the same weight class. (In Inuit-style wrestling competitors lock their hands behind their opponent’s back and attempt to topple them.)
Teammates Kestrel Martin and Hannah King each won silver in freestyle and bronze in Inuit – Martin in the 65-kilogram class and King in the 71-kilogram class.
Langmaid had the feeling the team would have a special week in Nuuk right from the team’s opening bout, he said.
“I think the most standout moment for me was our first match of the tournament where Jarrett Peterson beat a wrestler from Northern Alberta. I think this was the first time in over a decade we won a match against them. That was the moment I realized this team was special.”
Peterson went on to take silver in the 68-kilogram class and bronze in the Inuit competition for the same weight.
Teammate Shayne Melanson won silver in freestyle and bronze in Inuit for the 82-kilogram class.
Brother Jacob Melanson pinned down a silver in freestyle for the 75-kilogram division.
“I’ve enjoyed the experience greatly, this is my first Games and it’s been nothing but a learning experience of wrestling for me and a lot of fun with my team,” said Peterson.
“I have to hand it to my team and coach. You know wrestling is a pretty individual sport, but I believe that each one of our own wins counted for Yukon wrestling as a team.”
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