‘Release the Spirit Within’ closing ceremonies to be an event to remember

Posted: Saturday, March 11, 2006

The Closing Ceremonies of the 2006 Arctic Winter Games will mark the beginning of the end of an event that will last in memories for years to come.

Unlike the Opening Ceremonies in which teams came in under their own flags and banners, the beginning of the closing ceremonies will have the flags, team signs, athletes, coaches and performers entering the Soldotna Sports Center together. Because there will be trading of uniforms, it will be hard to recognize individual teams, Arctic Winter Games 2006 general manager Tim Dillon said at Friday morning’s press conference.

“It is basically a celebration, but it’s a little bit more subdued. It is a happy time but a sad time, because as soon as the games are over when AWGIC (Arctic Winter Games International Committee) President Gerry Thick declares the games closed, there will be people leaving and there have been some great friendships made,” said Dillon.

The ceremonies are expected to include a slide show of the events of the past week, as well as entertainment. After brief speeches by Dillon and Host Society President Dale Bagley, the Hodgson Trophy will be presented to the team whose conduct best demonstrates “the ideals of fair play and team spirit.”

The AWGIC flag will be presented to Yellowknife Mayor Gordon Van Tighem. Yellowknife, located in the Northwest Territories, as the host of the 2008 Arctic Winter Games.

Van Tighem and Thick are expected to give speeches during the closing ceremonies, followed by more entertainment and the extinguishing of the torch and final words.

When asked what he was most proud of during the past week Dillon replied: “I’d say the spirit of the games. The growth and the can-do attitudes of these communities are second to none. “That’s the thing that I’m most proud of

“When you have an orchestra everyone has a different sheet of music, the key is that everyone plays in harmony. I feel pretty darn good about the music that is coming out of the peninsula right now.”

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