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Treadwell Welcomes Athletes, Officials to Arctic Winter Games

March 17, 2014, Fairbanks, AK – Lt. Governor Mead Treadwell welcomed athletes and international government officials to the opening of the Arctic Winter Games this week in Fairbanks.

“Sporting events like this are a rare chance to come together from different nations and different backgrounds, and to find something that unites us,” Lt. Governor Treadwell said.

At a breakfast for members of Team Alaska, Treadwell told the young athletes that they are the future of the Arctic.

“The eyes of the world are turning North,” Treadwell said. “We need to be ready for the spotlight and prepared to lead. Let’s use this time of competition and camaraderie to get to know our neighbors. Let’s demonstrate we can not only throw straight, shoot straight, and skate and ski fast, but also communicate clearly and think creatively.”

The Arctic Winter Games is one of the oldest institutions of circumpolar cooperation. Beyond just athletic competition, the mission of the Games is to promote cultural exchange and celebrate Arctic heritage.

The first Games were held in 1970 in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, and Alaska has subsequently hosted the Games on five other occasions: in Anchorage in 1974, Fairbanks in 1982 and 1988, Chugiak/Eagle River in 1996, and on the Kenai Peninsula in 2006. Member jurisdictions share hosting responsibilities on rotation. Participating regions are: Alaska, Alberta North, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Nunavik Quebec, Yukon, Greenland, Sapmi (Scandinavia), and Yamal (Russia).

More than 2,000 athletes, coaches and other members of the competing delegations, and over 5,500 volunteers and spectators, are participating this year in Fairbanks.

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