The spirit of sportsmanship that embodies the Arctic Winter Games will be on full display Thursday as six delegations compete under one flag.
On their flight to the Arctic Winter Games from Iqaluit, Nunavut’s three figure skaters were lamenting the fact that they would be unable to compete in the team event because it requires eight members to perform separate elements.
Their fortunes changed at the first coach’s meeting ahead of the Games, when it was decided that one skater from each the five other teams would perform alongside the Nunavut athletes.
Cheryl Jobson, coach for Team Alberta North, said the decision was made unanimously without any hesitation.
“This is a world-class event. Everybody is working very hard to get here and deserves a chance to participate,” she said. “Truly everyone was on board. It was really nice to see. I think there was even a few tears.”
When Nunavut coach Victoria Hann returned from the meeting to tell the girls the news they were ecstatic.
“They were jumping and screaming,” she said. “They’re super excited.”
Nunavut’s Penelope Armstrong, who is participating in her first Games, said she is nervous about competing with unfamiliar faces but that she was looking forward to the experience.
“I was really happy and really thankful,” said Armstrong.
Nunavut’s figure skating team is relatively new. The territory didn’t have a team until Hann was brought on to start a skating club in Iqaluit eight years ago.
The team first competed in the Arctic Winter Games in Alaska six years ago but they didn’t send anyone to Nuuk, Greenland in 2016.
“Back in Alaska we only had two skaters but now we have three, so we’re growing,” said Hann.