It’s going to be a little bit longer before we see the Arctic Winter Games return to the community.
The Games International Committee announced on Wednesday they’re postponing the 2022 event in Wood Buffalo due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
After discussions with the municipality and provincial government, the decision was made to move the event back to ensure the health and safety of all the participants, coaches, volunteers, staff, spectators, and the community.
“The health and safety of our circumpolar participants, coaches, and volunteers are of paramount concern, and although it is a great disappointment that we must postpone the 2022 Arctic Winter Games, we are steadfast in our decision,” added John Flynn, President, Arctic Winter Games International Committee.
The Games have been ongoing since 1970 with Wood Buffalo hosting the bi-annual event back in 2004.
Last year’s event in Whitehorse was canceled due to the pandemic.
The events include athletes from northern Alberta, the Northwest Territories, Yukon, Nunavut, Alaska, Greenland, Russia, Nunavik (Northern Quebec), and the indigenous people of Norway, Sweden, and Finland.
No decision has been made on when the community will get to re-host the event.
“We would like to thank the community and our volunteers for their continued support as we prepare to welcome the Circumpolar North at a later date,” added Melissa Blake, Co-Chair of the 2022 Games.
“As a Host Society, we will continue to collaborate with the AWGIC and our stakeholders to ensure a successful and safe event for visitors and the community.”