Whitehorse Daily Star

Image title

Photo by Photo Submitted

RETURINING HOME – After 10 years away from the territory working with international sporting events, Moira Lassen will be returning to the Yukon as the general manager for the 2020 Arctic Winter Games in Whitehorse.

Lassen returns home as AWG general manager

After several years away from home,

By Dustin Cook on February 23, 2018

After several years away from home, Moira Lassen will be returning to Whitehorse to manage an event that holds a special place in her heart.

With a long history in international sporting events, Lassen will be the general manager for the 2020 Arctic Winter Games in Whitehorse, as announced by the AWG Host Society Thursday morning.

Speaking with the Star on Thursday after the announcement, Lassen said she is most excited about returning to the North after being away for so long and to once again be involved with these Games.

Moira’s daughter Jeane Lassen was the Yukon’s first Summer Olympian in the sport of weightlifting and is currently in Pyeongchang as an athlete mentor for Team Canada.

It is in the sport of weightlifting that Moira had a major impact. She was elected Secretary General of the Canadian Weightlifting Federation. She was also the first woman elected to the executive board of the International Weightlifting Federation.

Currently, Moira is in Gold Coast, Australia as the Executive Operations Lead for the upcoming 2018 Commonwealth Games that kick off April 4.

She will officially begin her work on the 2020 Whitehorse Games on July 3 reporting to host society president George Arcand and the board.

“I’ve worked with Moira previously at Sport Yukon, as well as during the 2004 Canada Senior Games, and I’m really looking forward to working with her again,” Arcan said in the release. “The 2020 Games Host Society is coming together very well, and I have no doubt Moira will (be) a great addition to the team.”

Working at Sport Yukon, Moira said she has had prior experience with the AWG as the Chef de Mission for Team Yukon. Her daughter Jeane also participated in the Games in the sport of soccer.

Being familiar with the AWG, Moira said it is an important event that acts as a stepping stone for athletes both in sport and in daily life, teaching elements such as fair play and sportsmanship.

Moira cited the three Whitehorse Olympians currently competing in Pyeongchang as to where the Games can lead young athletes.

Emily Nishikawa, Dahria Beatty and Knute Johnsgaard all participated in the AWG growing up and Moira said it is a great step to larger competitions for the young up-and-coming athletes.

As the General Manager, Moira will be responsible for the overall planning and organization of the multi-sport event.

She will oversee all of the AWG operations and employees as Whitehorse prepares to welcome more than 2,000 participants in March 2020.

“Congratulations to the Host Society for reaching an important milestone by hiring Moira Lassen as its General Manager,” Mayor Dan Curtis said in the release. “Her extensive experience on the international stage will ensure a vibrant and successful 2020 Arctic Winter Games. I would also like to take this opportunity to welcome Moira home and wish her and her team the best of luck leading up to the competition.”

The sports specialist has been out of the territory for the last 10 years working for sporting events in Ottawa, Great Britain, Samoa and now Australia.

She has been a part of the 2012 Olympic and Paralymic Games in London, the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland and the 2015 Commonwealth Youth Games in Samoa.

Yukon government Minister of Community Services John Streicker said heading into the 50th anniversary of the AWG he is looking forward to working with Moira who will be bringing extensive sport experience to the role.

“I am thrilled that Moira Lassen will be joining the Arctic Winter Games 2020 Host Society as General Manager,” Streicker said in the release. “Moira is a trailblazer and has extensive experience in the sport community, with roles in many multi-sport events, including the Commonwealth and Olympic Games.

“I know she will bring passion and athlete-centered focus to her role, and I look forward to working together to make the 50th anniversary Games the best ever.”

Moira said her role will begin with policy implementation to ensure everyone who attends the Games in Whitehorse including athletes, coaches and staff have a fair and level playing field throughout the competition.

She said it is important for everyone to have a voice and this includes implementing reconciliation action plans for First Nations communities.

Sport is an important element of reconciliation, Moira said, and it is important to leverage these steps for the 2020 Games.

“It would be a great legacy for the Games,” she said.

But before Whitehorse takes centre stage, the 49th Arctic Winter Games will take place in Hay River and Fort Smith, N.W.T. from March 18-24 with 19 different sport disciplines.

Whitehorse last hosted the Games in 2012 and the 2020 edition of the Games will be the seventh time it is held in the city – more than any other location.

Comments (1)

Up 0 Down 0

Angus McLeod on Feb 25, 2018 at 11:39 am

Congratulations Moira, what an impressive career. It really gives me a good feeling seeing women reaching goals but also receiving public recognition for their achievements. I am honoured to know and to have worked with you.

Add your comments or reply via Twitter @whitehorsestar

In order to encourage thoughtful and responsible discussion, website comments will not be visible until a moderator approves them. Please add comments judiciously and refrain from maligning any individual or institution. Read about our user comment and privacy policies.

Your name and email address are required before your comment is posted. Otherwise, your comment will not be posted.