Iqaluit agrees to host bantam, women’s hockey for 2016 AWG
Nuuk not capable of hosting ice sports
The City of Iqaluit, the Government of Nunavut and Greenland have agreed that Iqaluit will host bantam and women’s hockey events during the March 2016 Arctic Winter Games, the City of Iqaluit and its counterparts from Nuuk said Aug. 20 in a news release.
“This is a great example of our two communities working together to strengthen sport development, build partnerships and promote culture and values in the spirit of what the Arctic Winter Games represents,” Iqaluit Mayor John Graham said.
In 2012, the Arctic Winter Games international committee decided to cut six sports from the 2016 AWG: midget hockey, dog mushing, curling, speed skating, figure skating and gymnastics
That’s because Nuuk, Greenland, the host of the 2016 AWG, doesn’t have facilities capable of handling those sports, including a hockey arena.
This upset many politicians in the Canadian territories of Nunavut, Yukon and the Northwest Territories, who demanded that hockey be reinstated.
In response, three territorial sports ministers promised to find a solution, and in 2011, Iqaluit offered to host ice hockey events.
This week, when a delegation from the big Greenlandic municipality of Sermersooq visited Iqaluit, this arrangement was confirmed.
The sprawling municipality of Sermersooq in southern Greenland includes Nuuk, the country’s capital city.
“We are looking forward to starting the planning of the games with the City of Iqaluit and the community,” Andreas Uldum, the deputy mayor of Sermersooq, said in a news release.
This isn’t the first time that Iqaluit and Nuuk have co-operated on the AWG — in 2002, the two cities co-hosted the event and are preparing a joint bid for the 2020 AWG.