Team NWT’s Dene Games athletes led the way with two gold ulus on the first day of the 2016 Arctic Winter Games in Greenland.
The Northwest Territories dominated the women’s snow snake events, which were moved forward to Monday in an effort to combat warnings of more bad weather ahead in the host city of Nuuk.
Aklavik teenager Cassandra Paul led an NWT podium sweep in the juvenile female category with a throw of 60.74m. Team-mate Izzy Heron, from Fort Smith, threw 53.60m for second place and Fort Resolution’s Kayleigh Hunter-McKay was third with 52.80m.
In the junior female event, Aklavik’s Holly Archie threw an impressive 90.51m to take gold – just two meters away from the winning junior male distance. Kendall Archie took third with 60.98m.
“Today went great but it was a little tiring,” said Paul. “Being Team NWT’s first champion at the Arctic Winter Games feels good.”
Hunter-McKay said: “I wasn’t expecting this because there are a lot of girls in my category. I didn’t think I was going to be one of the medallists.”
Elsewhere, most of Monday’s action took place in team sports.
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The territory’s five futsal teams are still searching for a win – there were ties for the juvenile boys and girls and junior boys, while the junior girls lost a close 3-2 encounter with Alberta North having led by two. The intermediate girls impressively tied 0-0 with Alaska but were heavily defeated by the Sapmi team.
In basketball, the NWT’s junior girls beat Nunavut 46-36 and the junior boys beat Nunavut 84-41. In volleyball, the junior girls and boys both have one win and one defeat.
Four NWT athletes reached the badminton singles quarter-finals before bowing out. In Iqaluit, Team NWT beat Yukon 14-1 in bantam and the junior girls beat Alberta North 4-2.
On Tuesday all remaining sports are set to get underway, including arctic sports, biathlon, skiing, snowboard, table tennis, snowshoe and wrestling.