ARCTIC WINTER GAMES 2016 – Nuuk, Greenland

Arctic Winter Games 2016 is in Nuuk, Greenland right now!

The Opening Ceremony on Sunday, 6 March 2016 kicked off this traveling sports and cultural event that celebrates youth from 9 delegations around the Arctic – Alaska, Alberta North, Greenland, Northwest Territories, Nunavik-Quebec, Yamal, Sapmi, Nunavut, and Yukon. The games take place every two years in a different delegation, although this is the first time Greenland has been sole host.

445A2154-2 Photo: Dida G. Heilmann445A2280-2 Photo: Dida G. Heilmann


The weather gods dumped plenty of snow and high winds (reaching 126 kmh / 78 mph) on Nuuk to celebrate Arctic Winter Games. Pretty ironic considering the warmer-than-average temperatures earlier in winter caused a bit of worry that there wouldn’t be enough snow!

The storm hit on Saturday 5 March – the same day Air Greenland had planned to carry out it’s biggest air traffic feat to date, so they got one more day to prepare! On Sunday 6 March, Air Greenland got underway with an air bridge unseen in Greenlandic history to get participants into Nuuk in good time – 31 flights between Kangerlussuaq and Nuuk in 11 hours and 5 minutes.

One Air Greenland employee wrote this (translated to English):

I am just SO proud of all my colleagues at Air Greenland. The AWG flight bridge was, on paper, a nearly impossible feat which was today carried out to perfection. That’s the way! Also huge congratulations go to Mittarfeqarfiit [Greenland Airport Authority] and AWG, as well as to all of the volunteers. We can do so much when we work together here in Greenland.

445A1426-2 Photo: Dida G. Heilmann


The sports competitions started Monday evening and continue until tomorrow, Friday 11 March, culminating with the Closing Ceremony.

There are 15 possible sports disciplines that athletes compete in, including alpine skiing and snowshoeing, biathalon by ski or snowshoe, wrestling, and the popular Arctic Sports and Dene Games, both traditional indigenous disciplines.

Greenland is really good at Arctic Sports! Last night (Wednesday 9 March) Tonny Fisker got both a Gold medal in the Head Pull and a Bronze medal in the Triple Jump, Bent Jakobsen got a Gold medal in the Alaskan High Kick, Ittukusuk Heilmann got a Bronze in the Head Pull, and Nadja Olesen got Gold medal in the Arm Pull.

Screen Shot 2016-03-10 at 12.30.26 Photo: @inooraqScreen Shot 2016-03-10 at 12.30.41 Photo: @inooraq


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Watch the AWG Daily roundup show online at KNR’s YouTube channel