Arctic Winter Games – Wednesday Update
NWT won gold ulus in handball, ankle skip, snowboarding, figure skating, arm pull and one foot high kick at Wednesday’s Arctic Winter Games, bringing the team’s total to 22.
Jerrica Sanderson, Gabrielle McLeod and Desiree Charlo bounced back from an opening loss to win gold in youth handball.
In the process of preparing this update, Bridgette McKay, Monica Arey and Ariana Sundberg-Koyina all won junior gold. Team NT was also guaranteed gold or silver in the men’s open tournament, which started at 21:00.
Sanderson, McLeod and Charlo — respectively from Fort Resolution, Aklavik and Detah — first met at court hearings in December. They spent two days together at the Games before competing against each other.
“It’s my first time playing handball and getting a medal for the first time,” said Charlo, 13.
“The beat of the drums feels like it’s inside you, like there’s nothing else and all you could hear is the drums,” she added, describing her love of the sport. Team NT defended a title won by the area in Fort Smith in 2018.
At Arctic Sports, Veronica McDonald defeated teammate Danica Taylor for gold in the arm stroke while Taylor added her own 1ft high kick gold ulu to the tally.
Later in the day, Chris Stipdonk – a knuckle hop legend – won gold at the Arctic Winter Games for the first time since 2016 after travel issues prevented his qualification for 2018.
Stipdonk, the world record holder at the event, was three feet short of the Arctic Winter Games record of 191 feet, set in 1988.
At 37, he said it was his last ankle jump in competition. His wife and young family watched at Fort McMurray.
“I really gave it my all – really, really tried,” said Stipdonk. “I sort of knew I was going to be really, really close to making it.”
He concluded: “I’m not trying that again. I am exhausted.”
Storm Cabell-White won an exceptional third consecutive gold ulu of the week, this time in the U15 snowboarders’ banked slalom, and she was joined by teammate Grayson Marchiori, who won the U15 men’s title at the event.
Peyton Koe won the Stage 2 U19 Figure Skating Freestyle, followed by a second Gold Ulu for Lily Brennan in the Stage 3 event.
Team results on Wednesday:
Female 71-30 Nunavut
Male 86-60 Nunavut
At the time of writing, the women were in a playoff with Alberta North for a spot in the finals
Male defeated Nunavut 10-2 in the first playoff game, was in a playoff with Yukon at the time of writing for a spot in the next playoff round
Junior girls 3-1 Nunavut
Junior Male 2-3 Alberta North
Youth Women 4-1 Nunavut (Qualified to Semifinals with unbeaten record)
Youth Male 3-4 Yukon
U19 female 6-2 Alaska
U18 Men – Yukon 4:2, Nunavut 3:4
U16 Men 6-5 Nunavut
Females 1-3 Alaska
Males 1-2 Yukon
Medal results on Wednesday:
Gabrielle McLeod, Desiree Charlo & Jerrica Sanderson Dene Games Handball Teen Woman
Bridgette McKay, Monica Arey & Ariana Sundberg-Koyina Dene Games Handball Junior Women
Veronica McDonald arm stroke
Danica Taylor One Foot High Kick
Chris Stipdonk knuckle hop
Storm Cabell-White Snowboard U15 Women’s Slalom
Grayson Marchiori Snowboard U15 Male Banked Slalom
Peyton Koe Figure Skating U19 Freestyle Stage 2
Lily Brennan Figure Skating U19 Freestyle Stage 3
Danica Taylor arm pull
Riley Venema Snowboard U17 Women’s Slalom
Kenna MacDonald-Taylor Snowboard U15 Women’s Banked Slalom