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Behind-the-scenes unity and spirit motivate Games organizers

Posted: Sunday, March 05, 2006

 

  Packing sleeping bags that arrived late was just one task of thousands that Arctic Winter Games volunteers performed Photo By Merrill Sikorski

Packing sleeping bags that arrived late was just one task of thousands that Arctic Winter Games volunteers performed

Photo By Merrill Sikorski

Preparation for the Arctic Winter Games took on new urgency last week, as organizers worked to meet the last-minute needs of athletes, guests, volunteers, and media. The staff at the Games headquarters expected those challenges and took them in stride.

“We all like working together,” said Terri Nettles, Games executive assistant, “so it’s fun. We just won’t be getting much sleep.”

Some of the challenges were unexpected, such as the news that the 2000 sleeping bags and backpacks ordered from China would be arriving—but not until April.

“We ended up having to find existing stock down in the lower 48,” Said Bill Popp, Games revenue development director. The bags were ordered from merchants in Utah and Kansas and got here in less than five days. “On top of that, they were able to put logos on the backpacks in less than 48 hours.”

It’s the spirit of cooperation and determination that keep the Game’s operation on track, said Popp. Lynden Transport took charge of loading and delivering the bags, with the help of Games volunteers.

Another example of unity, said Popp, was the recent visit to the Games headquarters by Alaska mayors Mark Begich of Anchorage and Tim Anderson of the Matanuska-Susitna borough.

“Their visit shows the regional nature of the event in term of the support we have from the three major municipalities in the area, which represents 60 percent of the state’s population,” said Popp.

Both Anderson and Begich will attend various Games’ events throughout the week. Begich has special interest in alpine skiing and snow boarding, since those events will take place near Anchorage, at the Alyeska resort in Girdwood

“We’re just hoping the weather holds. Skiing in Girdwood with the sun out and temperatures at about 17-25 degrees is awesome!”



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