International media converge on Kenai Peninsula for Games; volunteers to light cauldron

Posted: Monday, March 06, 2006


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  Kenaitze culture bearer, Bunny Swan-Geese, singing We Are One at the media brunch Photo By Robert Bell

Ice Sculpture replica of the media pin was on display at the media representative brunch on Sunday

Photo By Robert Bell

More than 200 local, regional and international media covering the Arctic Winter Games gathered on Sunday for a brunch and briefing at the Challenger Learning Center of Alaska, which will be known as “The Coca-Cola Media Center” during the Games.

After enjoying a meal of Alaska-raised and caught foods, Merrill Sikorski, Advertising, Broadcast & Media chairman, welcomed the representatives and told them, “What you have tasted is what the athletes will be eating.” After a hearty round of applause, Sikorski spoke about the Games being a cultural and athletic interchange, as well as an opportunity for new friendships to form.

Tim Dillon, general manager of the Games, reinforced the importance of all the volunteers that help to make the Games happen. “There has been a volunteer of the month during the planning stages of the games,” and he announced it would be those volunteers passing the torch that lights the cauldron.


Kenaitze culture bearer, Bunny Swan-Geese, singing We Are One at the media brunch

Photo By Robert Bell

During the briefing, Dillon emphasized that anyone could call him with a problem or question and he would answer. He received two phone calls while speaking, asking them to call back shortly. A media representative suggested he turn his phone off, and he responded “No, because as I promised, I will always take your phone calls.”

“Anyone you speak to will have lots of stories to tell,” stressed Host Society president, Dale Bagley. Everyone laughed when he added “and by the way I have some pins to trade.”

Included in the media packet was the official pin, a carved wooden camera from Uncle Lloyd’s in Sterling. Local artist Scott Hansen carved the pin and an ice sculpture of the pin was a centerpiece at the brunch. A contribution by The Anchorage Daily News helped make the pins possible.

Wendell Shiffler, AWG International Committee vice president, spoke about the Hodgson Trophy that the media will contribute votes towards. The award will be presented to the contingent that demonstrates the most sportsmanlike behavior during the Games. A ballot and voting guidelines were included in the media packet. The trophy is a large Narwhale tusk that cannot be moved and is kept in Whitehorse, Yukon, for safekeeping. A framed photograph is given to the most deserving contingent, and a pin replica to each athlete.

Kenaitze Indian Tribe culture bearer Bunny Swan-Gease closed the brunch with her original song We are One, “one” in terms of purpose and community for the Games. “We all need to work together and help each other. Say hello, be kind, and be polite,” she reminded the media representatives.

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