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Sunday, March 12, 2006

Farewell: Games over
Singing, dancing and last-minute pin trading were all on the agenda for the closing ceremonies of the Arctic Winter Games in the Soldotna Sports Center on Saturday night.

Friendship on Ice
There were referees streaking toward players to break up shoving after the goalie covered the puck, a player dropping a rival with a solid cross-check and a goalie nudging just a little bit forward to trip up an attacker after the whistle blew.

Right at home
If a Kenai resident were on the prowl for a video of Friday’s gold ulu matchup between Team Alaska and Team Northwest Territories, they wouldn’t need to look very far. At least a half dozen camcorders captured the final junior girl’s basketball game, and chances are at least a few of those videos will stay on the Kenai Peninsula.

Hunting for heritage
Surrounded by television cameras and microphones, one of the Inuit games’ greatest spokesmen had a hard time describing his latest feat.

Ulu winners
Badminton Basketball Biathlon Cross-country skiing Curling Dene games Hockey Indoor Soccer Inuit games Snowboarding Snowshoe biathlon Snowshoeing Speed skating Table tennis Wrestling - Inuit

Frigid footrace
Competitors in traditional skin footwear race with snowshoes Friday on trails behind the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge headquarters building in Soldotna.

Games result is gold
The 2006 Arctic Winter Games are now officially over, and International Committee members, athletes, coaches, volunteers and visitors agree that in terms of hosting the event, the Kenai Peninsula deserves the gold.

Soccer, shrunk to fit
One of the unique things about the sport of soccer is that the game can be adapted to fit the venue. That might explain its popularity across northern latitudes, where the sport has been moved inside and is played in every type of arena, from tiny gyms to large field houses.

In Games, badminton is no picnic
When most people think of badminton, they think of a backyard game played while waiting for the summer barbecue to fire up.

Borough goes another round on gravel pits
A yearlong effort to rewrite the way the borough’s code governing land-use permits is applied to gravel pits is about to take another turn.

Mary Elaine Little
Longtime Kenai resident Mary Elaine Little died Thursday, March 9, 2006, after a long illness at Central Peninsula General Hospital in Soldotna. She was 42.

Rolling into residency: Experience brings reporter closer to feeling like Alaskan
I don’t expect to feel like an Alaska resident until I am standing at the mouth of the Kenai River grasping a dipnet, but with one death-defying Alaska experience already under my belt I feel a bit closer.

Area athletes should get a shot at biathlon
In a culture haunted by the spectre of school shootings, it was a minor miracle that the Kenai Peninsula School District and Arctic Winter Games host society were able to build a shooting range for Games biathlon competitions at Skyview High School.

Around the Peninsula
Community concert set Herb growing class set to sprout Horse development to be discussed Bazaar tables available Agility class planned for pooches

Kenai Peninsula Online - Alaska Newspaper -

Wasilla girls keep crown
For the second straight year, the Homer girls basketball team met Wasilla in the championship game of the Northern Lights Conference tournament and lost.

Nikiski girls still rule
The Nikiski girls defeated Seward 67-47 in the girls championship game of the Southcentral Conference tournament at Houston on Saturday.

CIA boys win Peninsula Conference championship
The Cook Inlet Academy Eagles boys basketball team clinched a state berth by defeating Seldovia in convincing fashion 63-29 during the Peninsula Conference boys championship game at Bristol Bay High School.

Team Sami marks second Games by winning Ulus, showing team spirit
This year marks just the second time the Sami people have participated in the Arctic Winter Games and it likely won’t be their last if team spirit and the 16 Ulus—four of them Gold—as of Thursday, is any indication.

Speed skater chooses Arctic Winter Games over “Canadian Idol” TV show
Multitalented Bracken Burns, speed-skater of Northern Alberta, had to make a choice between skating with the Northern Alberta team at the Arctic Winter Games, or singing for the televised talent show “Canadian Idol.” Much like “American Idol,” if you’re chosen to perform on “Canadian Idol,” you have a chance for fame and fortune in the music industry. Burns chose Alaska, and the Arctic Winter Games.

President of AWG Host Society: Bagley’s personal look at the Games
Dale Bagley, President of the Host Society for the 2006 Arctic Winter Games, shared his personal thoughts with the Ulu News on this year’s Games and the preparation that led to this circumpolar event on the Kenai Peninsula.

Knuckle hopping competition ‘seals’ end of Inuit Games
The Inuit Games came to a close Thursday with the Open Men’s knuckle hop competition. The final gathering of volunteers, spectators and participants all were in good spirits as this part of the Arctic Winter Games wound down.

An interview with Gerry Thick, President of the Arctic Winter Games International Committee
Involved with the Arctic Winter Games since 1984, Gerry Thick, has been the president of the International Committee since 1996, and has been overseeing various responsibilities of the Games throughout the week. The Ulu News was able to catch up with him on Thursday and asked him about this year’s Games and what they mean to him.

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

Last day to buy Alaska-made handiwork, art at AWG Craft Fair
While Alaskan-made crafts at their best have been available at the Arctic Winter Games Craft Fair since Thursday, participants and spectators better hurry to get their souvenirs before departing for the far reaches of the circumpolar north after Saturday’s Closing Ceremonies.

2008 Arctic Winter Games return to birthplace in Yellowknife
Like the salmon, the 2008 Arctic Winter Games will return to their birthplace two years from now when they are held where the games originated in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada.

‘Awesome, dude!’ Athletes dance their cares away
Hundreds of Arctic Winter Games athletes took a break from competing Wednesday night and attended a dance in their honor at the old Sears mall in Kenai.

Team Alaska’s Kami Cabana skis to Gold Ulusevery day
Kami Cabana didn’t set out to be an international skiing champion; it was something that came naturally to her, just like her ability to shred the slopes.

Can-do spirit guides organizers of 2006 and 2008 Arctic Winter Games
As the organizers of the 2006 Arctic Winter Games bring their duties to a close, the 2008 team is eager to step forward. Both groups addressed challenges during the closing days of the current Games.

Jabila’ina Dancers join the Games festivities
“We were invited by the Arctic Winter Games,” said Wanda Reams, explaining simply the Jabilaina Dancers’ presence at the Games.

Yukon girls, Alaska boys win Bronze Ulus in basketball
The Yukon girls basketball team overcame foul trouble and injuries to beat Nunavut 75-63 in the Junior Female Bronze Ulu game at Cook Inlet Academy on Friday.

Catch your breath! Miss the target or run the loop in biathlon
The 3-kilometer snowshoe biathlon sprint on Wednesday forced athletes to run quickly then instantly switch over to being a calm rifle shooter. “Catching your breath” takes on a whole new meaning in this sport.

History in the making: First-ever combined teams skate to Gold Ulus
Figure skaters from Team Alberta North and Team Yamal proved they know what the Arctic Winter Games are about when they made history Thursday night.

Cultural contingents’ performances dazzle AWG 2006
The Arctic Winter Games continued its tradition of honoring the cultures of the circumpolar peoples involved by producing cultural performances throughout the week.

Team Yukon powers through longer periods to ice hockey Gold Ulu
Team Yukon’s bantam hockey team won the Bronze Ulu in a playoff game against Northwest Territories with a final score of 5-1 on Friday.

Games a Rewarding Experience for Translators
In an excited Norwegian accent, Tor Holmboe talks about meeting some, “wonderful Smi, and absolutely thoroughly enjoy rubbing shoulders with them.” With a slight Russian accent, Natalia Johnson tells of enjoying, “the truly international spirit in the schools.”

The ‘Spirit of the Games’ remains strong as closing ceremonies near
Many people involved with the Arctic Winter Games realize that the Games are as much about kindness, honesty and hard work as they are about competition. Examples can be found nearly every day.

One-Foot High Kick takes center stage
During most Arctic games, the One-Foot High Kick takes the spotlight and it was no different on the Kenai Peninsula this week.

Team Yukon rendezvous with a comet; spacecraft status unknown
Twelve Team Yukon youth volunteers rocketed into space from the Arctic Winter Games leaving behind their Earth-bound comrades as they toured the galaxies.

Think Pink! NWT musher makes fashion statement while winning Gold Ulu
What’s pink and furry, and runs like the wind?

Games involvement: Reasons vary; success the same
Arctic Winter Games general manager Tim Dillon likens himself to a conductor, with his orchestra made up of 2,800 volunteers. And he says he’s well-aware that the motives that drove these people to devote their time to the Games varied.

Yamal contingent misses borscht, but enjoys competition, friendliness
This is only the second time Yamal—representing Russia—has participated in the Arctic Winter Games but they brought a country-size contingent with them.

Medal Counts
Alaska: Alberta North: Greenland: Northwest Territories: Nunavik Quebec: Nunavut: Saami: Yamal-Nenets: Yukon:

Terry Brooks brings magic to the Arctic Winter Games
Terry Brooks’ official Arctic Winter Games badge identifies him as “Chair of the Accommodations Committee 2008.” But you wouldn’t know that to listen to him.

Kenai Peninsula College student journalists publish the Ulu News
If you like what you’ve been reading in the newspaper you’re holding, credit Kenai Peninsula College journalism students who are serving as the credentialed reporters for the Ulu News, the official publication of the Arctic Winter Games.

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