Sunday, 1 April 2018

A is for (Canadian) Arctic Winter Games ...



The Arctic Winter Games is an international biennial celebration of circumpolar sports and Aboriginal culture.

Their logo


They were founded in 1969, the first one being held in Yellowknife when 500 athletes, trainers and officials participated.



Northwest Territories - Hay River/Fort Smith
where the Games were held March 2018


Since those early days the Games have grown to include nine contingents ... including various areas of Canada, Alaska, Greenland, the Sami people of Norway, Sweden, Finland and the Kola Peninsula of Russia, the Yamalo Nenets Autonomous Okrug from Russia ...



... and eighteen sports disciplines have been included ... including Dog Mushing, Snowshoe Running, and the High Kick - which is a traditional Inuit jumping event ...


Showing the High Kick at the
2008 Games
... emanating from its origin in subsistence whale hunting: when a whale was taken, a messenger would run to the village and kick both feet in the air once within eyeshot - the villagers would then know to prepare to harvest the whale.


Too cold for me - but I do admire the participation and inclusion that happens today ...


See more at Wikipedia - Arctic Winter Games

 That is A for Arctic Winter Games from Aspects by a British 'girl' in Canada ...

Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

48 comments:

Elephant's Child said...

What fun. I would love to see them, though my Athletic Abilities could best be described as Abysmal. Definitely a spectator.

Chatty Crone said...

Hilary I had never heard of them until now - I learn something new every day. I am thinking of the man kicking his feet in the air about the whale! Have a blessed Easter. sandie

Sue Bursztynski said...

Never heard of this - what fun! Dog mushing? High Kick?Now I will be looking out for them on line.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi to you all ... crumbs that will teach me ... it's still yesterday here - and you're all on A!!

Botanist said...

I guess your blog scheduling must still be on British time maybe? LOL. An educational post, anyway. I had never heard of these games, but I agree, a bit on the cold side for me too, eh?

D.G. Hudson said...

Good subject, Hilary! Hope your Easter is pleasant. We who live in the colder countries must learn to respect the weather and have fun in the winter. Especially those in the far north. (not like me in the warmer southern coast of BC). I will try to drop by and read some of your A to Z posts, although I'm not participating. Hope you are doing well.

Anonymous said...

What an interesting post Hilary. I had no idea about these games. Mind you, it's cold enough in Eastbourne today to hold them here!

My Friend Rosey - A

Rhodesia said...

Totally new to me and I see I am not the only one who had never heard of these games. Interesting subject. Well done Hilary. Keep warm Diane

Nilanjana Bose said...

Sounds so much fun - good way to keep warm in the cold too! Your A-Z is going to be a voyage of discovery - so looking forward to it!

bazza said...

What with whale hunting and dog mushing those Canadians coul;d earn a poor reputation!
CLICK HERE for Bazza’s puckish Blog ‘To Discover Ice’

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
Hilary, this is a most interesting and enjoyable post - having recently enjoyed the Winter O's (and eagerly awaiting the CGs from OZ), I would love to be able to see something of these games!
(Don't worry about the blog timings - mine are set on India time so are a half a day ahead of everyone anyway... that's how the world rolls!!!)
Cheers from the Bonny Land, YAM xx

Emily Bloomquist said...

Such success right from the beginning - 500 participants at the first Arctic Winter Games is quite impressive. Too cold for me, too.

Bob Scotney said...

Had heard of dog mushing while in Norway but otherwise I didn't know there was an Arctic Winter Games.
If we get some snow as threatened tomorrow it's A-Z that will become a 'winter' game.

Sarah Zama said...

I hav enever even known of the existance of this game!
But I think it's awesome that it brings together so many people from different continents... though these people do have something in common, I suppose.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I'd heard of the Arctic Games but didn't know much about them.

Jo said...

I live here and yet I have never heard of the Arctic winter games. Obviously I know about the Iditerod (sorry am I pre-empting) but not the games. Good on ya Hilary.

That high kick is really something.

Sue McPeak said...

Brrrrrr! Artic Games indeed! Interesting events that I'm sure the spectators are bundled up to the max and the participants get through quickly. I'd hope a Fur coat was waiting for them on the podium. Great start to the AtoZ Challenge.
Sue at CollectInTexas Gal

Elsie Amata said...

Snowshoe running? I have to give them a lot of credit. I can't even run down my driveway, let alone in the snow wearing snowshoes. That takes a ton of strength!

Elsie

Deborah Weber said...

This is going to be a fun series Hilary - I'm sure to learn lots about Canada. Indeed I've not heard of the Arctic Winter Games before. The physical aspect of the high kick is amazing in itself, but the history behind the movement is equally fascinating. Off to a great start - happy A-to-Z ing!

Ronel Janse van Vuuren said...

I'd love to try that high kick -- though, I'm sure I'll end up in hospital for weeks if I did ;-)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ EC - I'm now Agingly unable ... but it was interesting to find out about ...

@ Sandie - once I knew what the high kick indicated - then it made sense ..

@ Sue - Dog mushing is quite well known ... that high kick was a revelation ...

@ Ian- yes I'd purposely set it early ... but was somewhat surprised to see the post up and running ... and it sounds very cold ... I'm a mid-weather person I think!!

@ DG - how good to see you - and yes though I'm here ... I'm glad I'm near you in the warmer corner of BC. It'll be lovely to see you commenting when you have a chance ...

@ Keith - oh is it still cold over there ... miserable but thanks for the weather update! ... it is warming up here ...

@ Diane - they were new to me ... but matched my requirements ... and yours too apparently!

@ Nila - I honestly don't know how they cope ... well I hope the A-Z matches up ... thank you ...

@ Bazza - certainly whale watching is thought to disturb the whales in their natural environment ... dog mushing contests have been held for years ... but I must find out more at some stage ...

@ Yamini - lovely to meet you .. I didn't see too much of the Olympic Games (winter) recently ... and I've just missed these Games they were held in March. I set it early so was able to catch some comments yesterday ...

@ Emily - too cold for me ... but I was interested to learn about the Games ...

@ Bob - yes dog mushing occurs in Norway - and I'd heard of it before, but like you I'd no idea about the Arctic Games. Snow over in England .. yugh - perhaps I'm happy I'm here!!

@ Sarah - I only came across them a few days ago - so they got written up. I have to say reading about the various contingents of different speakers must be great that they can get together and enjoy the games ...

@ Alex - I didn't know about the Games ... but now I do.

@ Jo - nope ... no Iterod coming up! But at least you know about these Games ... I'm not sure if they're on tv. Once I knew what the high kick represented then it made sense ... so had to go in.

@ Sue - I know ... definitely what I don't want to see here down on Vancouver Island just now ... but the participants must love the cold! I expect they've got some wonderful man-made fibres to keep themselves warm ...

@ Elsie - yes running in any form is a challenge - but people love trying different things ... it looks fun to watch ...

@ Debbie - I sincerely hope so ... I think I'm deviating off into realms unknown re Canada - but we'll see. Glad the Arctic Games matches the starting gun though!

@ Ronel - thanks ... I will not be trying the high kicks! But you're right ... most of us would end up in hospital I suspect if we tried one ...

Thanks so much for visiting ... I'll be by anon - cheers Hilary

Jacqui Murray said...

That was interesting! I suppose from a distance, they needed a strong visual (to announce the whale). This is going to be a fun month!

Jz said...

Holy cow, that's one high high kick!
I had no idea this existed but now I might need tickets...

:-)

Jean Davis said...

I have never heard of these games before. Very interesting. One would think it would be much easier to yell "Whale" or wave their hands in some specific motion than perform the crazy kick, but it looks impressive.

diedre Knight said...

Interesting! It never occurred to me that folks could actually run in Snowshoes. The High Kick is impressive, as is the origin of doing so. I like the name "Yellowknife" ;-)

Sandra Cox said...

I had never heard of this! Good info, Hilary.
Happy Easter.

Kristin said...

I never knew about these games! How exciting.

Pamela Wright said...

These games sound fabulous and I'm sure I saw a segment about them on one of Michael Palin's many adventures. Good luck for the rest of the month.
Pamela @ Days of Fun

Sherry Ellis said...

I'm glad whale hunting isn't a thing any more. They'd be even more of an endangered species.

Rhonda Albom said...

I saw athletes training for the high kick at the Alaska Native Heritage Center in Anchorage some years ago. It is a very impressive feat.

Joanne said...

an Arctic blast of a start for your A to Z. Very interesting. I've never heard of the Arctic Games. Sounds fun but cold. I look forward to this month and shall keep checking in.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Jacqui - yes the visual, or the noise perhaps ... but I did like the link back to tradition ...

@ Jz - it was an interesting find - and yes that kick is some height isn't it ... start saving for two years time ... I don't know where the Games will be held in 2020 ...

@ Jean - it was so interesting to find out the reason for the 'High Kick' ... I couldn't fathom it, before I read further ... I wonder if it's the snap of the heels that carries the sound over ...

@ Diedre - I guess if a human decides to do something he gives it a try - you'd think it wouldn't work .. but obviously they have 'serious fun' ...

Yellowknife is for the copper and then gold that was found there ... so the name stuck ...

@ Sandra - glad you enjoyed the new info ...

@ Kristin - I hadn't heard about these Games either ... introduced me to some of their culture ...

@ Pam - yes I feel sure Michael Palin would have included a clip in one of his adventures - not sure if I didn't see it... but only related to the dog mushing ...

@ Sherry - yes I hope whale sight-seeing gets onto the back burner too - disturbing their way of life ...

@ Rhonda - oh that would make sense - and fascinating to see ... now I'd like to visit that Anchorage Centre ... I'm sure it's an impressive feat ...

@ Joanne - well I"m glad I found out about these Games and decided to post them up ... I agree ... definitely cold, not so sure about the fun part now!

Thanks everyone - good to see you when you can get here ... cheers Hilary

DeeDee said...

Lovely read

Mrs Dash's Tongue Twister for A

Lynda Dietz said...

The whale hunting kick made me smile! What an intriguing way to let people know that a whale was on the way for processing! I guess if you were fit enough to catch a whale, you'd be fit enough for the kick.

Kim Blades said...

Hi Hilary. A really interesting post. Also too cold for me, just saying the word Arctic makes me shiver. Still the people who participate are versatile and talented and obviously competitive.

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

It would be so cold up there that I'd be hoping all the games were indoors! (Appears it's quite the opposite!)

Susan Scott said...

Very interesting Hilary thank you. Lovely to see the inclusion of other contingents and some of their strange sports - eg dog mushing ...

Natasha Duncan-Drake said...

I've never heard of these games - most fascinating. The events sound a little strange, but I am sure they take just as much skill as throwing yourself down a track head first on a tea tray.
Tasha
Tasha's Thinkings - Movie Monsters

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Dee Dee - thanks ...

@ Lynda - I know seems a funny way to notify your fellow villagers inland that 'the feast' is on its way ... but as you say they'll be fit ...

@ Kim - thank you and yes definitely too cold. But they make good where they are ... and are fit, talented and competitive ...

@ Elizabeth - me too ... as a spectator I'd hope to be inside ... and competing - I wouldn't fall into that category!

@ Susan - I was so interested to see 'the contingents' who participated and which peoples who joined in - it's great to know there's communication going on between the groups; interesting sports too ...

@ Tasha - quite honestly nor had I heard of the Games ... but their sports fit the bill (so to speak) and yes absolutely as you say throwing yourself head first down an icy track on a 'tea tray' is just as 'crazy'!!

Cheers to you all - thanks ... these Games sound really interesting and in two years I think I must keep an eye open for them ... Hilary

cleemckenzie said...

Too cold for me, too! But the games sound exciting with all of those different groups of people--two of which I've never heard of before--participating.

Trudy said...

That photo of the high kick is amazing! When they say "high kick" they aren't joking! And "snowshoe running"? I can barely walk with snowshoes on... it would be amazing to watch people run in them. Fascinating post!

Fil said...

How interesting - what a shame they don't show games like those on TV. The high kick pic is amazing ...the cold's not affecting his joints anyway :)
Looking forward to following along on the AtoZ Hilary - not playing this year, but it'll be fun seeing what you all come up with. FIl

Pearson Report said...

Hi Hilary,

Well, I've just learned something new about my country. I'm going to enjoy your A to Z entries - I think you should have a quiz at the end for us Canucks to see if we've been paying attention. LOL

Cheers, Jenny at Pearson Report

Christine Rains said...

So neat! I'm ashamed to say I'm Canadian and never heard of these games.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Lee - yes mighty freezing - and not for me ... but I too was interested in the groups of people participating ... I must look into them further.

@ Trudy - good to see you ... I agree that high kick is quite some kick isn't it. Snow-shoe running just sounds like running with frying pans on one's feet - but I guess lighter! Delighted you enjoyed the post ...

@ Fil - I expect they record them ... and they'll come out in a documentary or something ... someone mentioned Michael Palin had recorded something similar ... I'm fairly certain it was dog mushing ... but could well have been the Games ... Thanks for wanting to be here and visit ...

@ Jenny - I know it's funny being 'told' about one's own country ... I might follow up on your suggestion of a quiz in May ... as you say amusing ... and Canucks another good word ...

@ Christine - I hadn't heard of them - til I spotted the 'A' for Arctic and thought to myself ah hah ... I have my A ...

Thanks to you - great to see you ... cheers for now - Hilary

Deborah Barker said...

Hi Hilary, arriving late as usual - oh my, "dog mushing"? That sounds strange! I have never heard of these games but your post has educated me again. Thank you :-)

Lynn said...

I've never heard of that - it must be sight to behold!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Deborah - I knew about dog-mushing and racing ... but not about the Arctic Games themselves ... which I was interested to read about ...

@ Lynn - I think it'd be a freezing sight to behold! - but yes I'd love to see them

Cheers Hilary