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Inuit Games Athletes Announced For 2010 Winter Games Showcase

by NationTalk on September 17, 2009438 Views

YELLOWKNIFE – September 16 – Eight Inuit Games athletes and two coaches have been selected to help showcase the Northwest Territories (NWT) at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.The athletes will demonstrate traditional Inuit games alongside Northwest Territories artists and performers in a variety of venues during the 2010 Winter Games.

Minister of Municipal and Community Affairs (MACA), Robert C. McLeod says the opportunity will allow youth to highlight their individual talents, while promoting a significant traditional aspect of northern Aboriginal culture.

“We are fortunate to have such talented athletes in the Northwest Territories, and we are proud to have them represent us at the largest sporting event in the world,” he said.

The athletes were selected based on their athletic performance, their commitment to a healthy lifestyle, and their knowledge of the cultural importance of Inuit Games.

“The 2010 Winter Games offer a unique opportunity to share Inuit culture and promote the North to visitors from around the world,” says Mr. Roy Ipana, Chair of the Northern Games Society. “On behalf of the Northern Games Society, and the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation, I wish the Inuit Games athletes and coaches the very best in Vancouver.”

The following athletes and coaches were selected:

• Kyle Kuptana – Inuvik
• Noel Leigh Cockney – Inuvik
• Kristen Green – Paulatuk
• Marion Toutuk Green – Paulatuk
• Vanessa Anikina – Paulatuk
• Matthew Anikina – Tuktoyaktuk
• James Williams – Yellowknife
• Stacey Bengts – Yellowknife
• Karis Gruben – Inuvik (Alternate)
• Dwayne Illasiak – Paulatuk (Alternate)
• Donald Kuptana Jr. – Inuvik (Coach)
• Lena Kotakak – Tuktoyaktuk (Coach)

Minister McLeod is especially pleased to welcome Mr. Abel Tingmiak, a respected elder from Inuvik, who will perform with the athletes during the 2010 Winter Games as a Blanket Toss specialist.

Athletes will take part in a training and orientation event in Yellowknife from October 3-5th.

Through its investment in the 2010 Winter Games, the GNWT is working to Maximize Opportunities by highlighting the NWT’s arts, culture and traditions to promote the NWT as a place to live and visit. Strengthening awareness of the NWT’s northern identity and uniqueness will work to promote a strong and independent North as versioned in the 16th Assembly’s Vision of Northerners Working Together.

For more information, contact:

Rebecca Alty
Communications/Website Advisor
Municipal and Community Affairs
Tel: (867) 920-3092

Roy Ipana
Chairperson Northern Games Society
Tel: (867) 678-2429

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