Nine buses loaded with Team Alaska athletes descended on Kenai Peninsula College Friday night for pizza and drinks. Sponsored by the college and University of Alaska Anchorage, the pizza was furnished by Pizza Boys and the drinks were donated by Coca-Cola.
“Three hundred and eighty one participants and coaches, and about 75 family members crowded the UAA campus beginning at 8 p.m.,” said Tim Dillon, general manager for the Arctic Winter Games.
Athletes from northern Alaska started from Fairbanks at 8 a.m. in four buses and were joined by five more buses in Anchorage carrying athletes from Southeast Alaska. Then traveling together to Soldotna they got to feast on five different kinds of pizza, and stretch their legs before continuing to the Kenai Airport for registration.
Upon entering the college many headed straight to the lines waiting to use restrooms, while others went directly for the food. For many, this was the first chance they had to meet other teammates they will be competing with.
After finishing their pizza the athletes received a gym bag stuffed with goodies from the Games and the college then boarded the buses again to head for the Kenai Airport to receive their credentials.
College officials had ordered 120 pizzas and for awhile feared that would not be enough; however, many of the athleteslike normal teenagersate their way down the highway.
“We had 27 pizzas left over and certainly didn’t want them to go to waste,” said Gary J. Turner, college director. After numerous calls, the assistant director of the Kenai Peninsula Food Bank was located and graciously accepted the large donation. “The pizzas donated by the university not only fed Team Alaska athletes, but also will feed the hungry on the Peninsula; it couldn’t have worked out better,” said Turner.
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