The 2020 Arctic Winter Games reached another milestone on Thursday, with 100 Days to Go until the start of the Games.
“We’re just 100 days away from the start of the 2020 Arctic Winter Games, so now the final preparations begin,” said president of the Host Society, George Arcand. “This is a great opportunity to showcase the Yukon’s hospitality to the circumpolar north while providing spectators with exciting, fast-paced competition and unique, engaging performances throughout the week.
Yukon dignitaries were on hand, and minister of community services John Streicker said it’s just starting to hit home with how close the Games are.
“It’s an exciting milestone and I am happy to mark it,” said John Streicker. “It’s going to be great to have the 2020 Games here in Whitehorse. If it didn’t feel like it before it’s starting to feel quite real. Very, very real.”
Streicker said the 100 days out is more than just a number, it’s time to shift gears.
“We will shift from planning to rolling out the plans,” said Streicker. “It’s also an important date for all the athletes and participants from around the circumpolar world who will attend the Games.”
The trials for the 21 sports are well underway here in the Yukon and will continue until January.
Dec. 5 was also International Volunteer Day. In recognition, the AWG office remained open until 7 p.m. to allow extra time for volunteer sign-up and completion of the mandatory criminal record check.
Streicker stressed that volunteers are the backbone of an even like the Arctic Winter Games.
“An event like this takes literately 1000s of volunteers. These Games couldn’t happen without you and I understand we are now at 1,242 volunteers,” said Streicker.
The Arctic Winter Games Host Society’s goal is to have 1,800 volunteers by the time Games begin on March 15. Whitehorse Mayor Dan Curtis is confident Yukoners will rally to meet that target.
“I have no doubt that 1,250 is going to exceed 2,000 as long as Bev Buckway is on the job pounding the pavement,” said Curtis. “The amazing volunteers, here for this international volunteer day, are working so hard to ensure the most successful Games ever.
“It’s not always about the sport, it’s not always about the people who will have the opportunity. It’s about the opportunity you are giving so many people across the globe to see what we have to offer.”
Arcand said the volunteers and staff and working hard behind the scenes to make the next 100 days count.
“Earlier in this week we launched the sale of super passes,” said Arcand. “Next week, tickets for gold medal hockey and opening ceremonies will go up for sale.”
The super pass tickets are good for all indoor competitions throughout the week of the Games except gold medal hockey. They are $40 for adults and $30 for youth and seniors. Children under two are free. Passes are available at the AWG office and City Hall as well as online at shop.awg.2020.org.
Also as part of the celebration, the Host Society announced Yukon Energy’s $100,000 sponsorship of the Games.
Yukon Energy joins the team as sponsor of the Volunteer Program, as well as Arctic Sports and Dene Games.
“Our $100,000 contribution to the Arctic Winter Games is a testament of our commitment to Yukon culture and sport and to the communities and individuals we are privileged to serve,” said Lesley Cabott, chair Yukon Energy Corporation board of directors.
“We’re thrilled to be a major part of the Games and to be able to celebrate the hard work and commitment of all the volunteers, athletes, coaches and staff that will be a part of it.”